5 years ago today, Elisa and I woke up around 5 in the morning, loaded up in the car, and made a trip over to Evansville to prepare for our little boy to come into the world. I remember that day like it was yesterday (cliche?). Caleb’s birth was so much different than Sydney’s. She was a long process, something like 32 hours of labor. Caleb was scheduled. Caleb was easier. We just checked Elisa into the hospital and started preparing.
I remember wanting to listen to Linkin Park on the way to Evansville that morning but Elisa was not in the mood for loud music. Looking back, it probably was not the best choice on my part.
I remember that Sydney was staying at my mom’s house and would be meeting us at the hospital shortly after Caleb was born. However, aside from mom and Lonnie coming to see us, there would not be that many people there. This was a far cry from the morning that Sydney was born when it seemed like everyone that we knew was present.
It’s odd to think that Caleb’s birth was easier, quieter and came about with less fanfare than his sister. If you knew my children, you would immediately understand why I say this. She is a fairly quiet and laid back child. Caleb, however, is hard to miss. From the moment he was born, he has been grabbing the attention of those around him. I think this picture captures that perfectly.
Shortly after Caleb was born, mom and Lonnie arrived with Sydney and we all got to meet our little man for the first time.
Past birthdays have been a mix of joy and sorrow. Caleb’s first birthday fell in between the deaths of Elisa and I’s fathers as they both passed in the same week. However, birthdays must always be celebrated and that’s one thing that the Stranges do well.
This year is different. This is the first birthday celebrated in Virginia. It has always been easy to get the family out for celebrations before because we all lived so close. Now, that has changed. Fortunately for us, my mom and step-dad are out vacationing with us this week so we got to have a little birthday party at the pool anyways.
The last five years have been both a trial and an absolute blessing. There is no greater joy in life than experiencing your children as they grow… as they become who they are. The opportunities that we have to mold and create a life for them pass by so quickly. It seems like just yesterday that Elisa and I were making that trip to Evansville and now I have a five-year-old boy.
Happy Birthday, son. You have my heart.
Lord help me to make the most of these years.