Yesterday we had another birthday in the Karenpie household and I've gotta tell ya - I'm sick of them. They need to just stop. Stop changing and growing up. STOP THE MADNESS, I tell you!
Daniel turned nine yesterday. The above picture is as up to the minute as I've got, but this is how I think of him . . .
. . . our sweet little bundle, the day we brought him home from the hospital. He was almost born in the Suburban. It's a great story. You should ask me about it sometime.
Or I think of him like this with those squishy, puffy cheeks. Deliciousness. He was - and still is - our squishy boy. We called him Squish.
On his first birthday, we had just moved to the Vancouver area. Gram and Gramps were visiting and getting lots of quality grandkid time with Daniel and big brother, Matthew.
Matthew was 2 1/2 years old and speaking total alien gibberish. We had no idea what he was saying but there was one word that was repeated frequently - gush. Rhymes with "push".
Gram is the one who figured it out. "Gush" was Matthew's name for Daniel. He was trying to say "squish" and that's what came out. From that day on, that's been our name for Daniel.
Gush. It has a certain ring to it, doesn't it? Someday, when he's a 6'5'', 240-pound defensive end for the Kansas State Wildcats, his name might possibly become a verb.
ESPN announcer: "Did you see that block by Kogler? That lineman was gushed."
But until that time, he'll be Gush. I have to say, calling him that in front of his 3rd grade friends doesn't get me points. I have to retrain myself to call him Daniel when we're out in public.
Sweet, sweet, tender-hearted, gentle-spirited, generous little boy. He's an unusual mix of reserve and confidence. He doesn't put himself and his goofy sense of humor out there for everyone, but it's not because he's shy - he just doesn't feel like it. He's our kid who, when he's tickled about something, absolutely dissolves into laughter. And he takes us along for the ride when he does.
He loves Jesus and constantly surprises me with his probing questions. Questions like;
Daniel: "Mom, when God was a baby where was He born?"
Me: "In a stable, Gush. Remember how they put baby Jesus in the manger?"
Daniel: "Not Jesus, Mom. God. Where was God born?"
Um, yeah. I'll dive right into the conversation about God being the self-existent Creator. With a five year old. Or how about this one;
Me: "Gush, I've noticed that Fred isn't very nice to you when you play. Do you really want to play with him? If you don't it's OK to say "no" when he asks to play. Those are called consequences. You don't have to play with someone if you feel bad when you're with them."
Daniel: "Yeah, but Mom - what about mercy?"
Alrighty then. My six-year old, setting an example for me.
Happy birthday, sweet Gush. You are the joy of my heart.