So this is a throwback post from March 7th, but a really truly important one. Our sweet Caleb turned 4 that day! That (and the one for Andy) was actually the post we were writing when the website crashed but it just wasn’t something we wanted to lose. Caleb’s year three was a hard one for all of us, but perhaps most of all, for him. We left our home, his wonderful school, his dearest friends, and his favorite places (Air and Space Museum anyone?). This was a very difficult concept for a 3 year old and he struggled with understanding. Justin said that this was the thing he was most proud of Caleb for this year – he once asked him if Charlotte was on the same planet as Washington, DC. Not really buddy, but way to adjust to Mars.
The new house gave him space and independence. The new school gave him friends to help him find joy, and the church (where he would spend most of his time) gave him a place to feel confident and secure. And so it made sense to have those three things converge for his 4th birthday – a home birthday with his school and church friends. Being from DC, NO ONE has home birthdays past a certain age (except the very wealthy who have large homes), so this was a very new concept for us.
We asked Caleb what he wanted and he said a pilot theme.
So a pilot theme we gave him.
After years of parties with just a few friends, we were expecting a VERY full house. And it was so wonderful to have the ability to accommodate that! So we did a “classic” birthday party – pinatas, crafts, pin-the-tail… all the things you’d think of when you thought of a kid’s birthday!
We took the tables from the church (pays to be the minster’s wife) and made them into a runway for the kids with inflatable airplanes, and made clouds and hung airplanes from the ceiling. We had pilot sunglasses and pilot sticker tags, airplane building crafts, pretty much everything we could think of, we tried to have to keep 30-40 little people and parents busy.
We had lots of games, like pin the propeller on the plane (that Grandma drew),
And flight school with the planes we built,
and then in flight service (aka lunch).
And of course, cupcakes.
Then the pinata, which we had a blast stuffing full of goodies.
And, one of the biggest reasons for the move, we were lucky enough to have lots of family with us! It was a first with both Granny and Grandma, and it made it all the more special.
The party was a wild success and more fun than we had had in a long time. It was wonderful to share the day with the families we had met and befriended, and is something we’re still talking about these months later.
In the past year (and now 6 months!!), Caleb has shown such a growth of spirit and comfort with himself and a confidence with his abilities. He remains his sweet self, loving to curl up and “read” books for long periods of time, learning as much as he can about baseball or all things flight-related. It’s been a delight to watch him learn new skills, particularly in this new home. Climbing the plum tree. Making his own drinks and snacks. Reading chapter books at bedtime. Building complex airplanes and race cars. The discovery of Calvin & Hobbes (and Calvin’s “funny faces”). As always, each age and stage is such a blessing and we’re so grateful for another year to parent this wonderful child. Thank you Caleb, for making us such an incredible family. We are so thrilled for this fourth year with you!