And then there is Cason. He is a joy and a blessing. He is simply pure joy. I love this picture because it captures that little look of mischief that is ever-present on his precious face. He is always smiling. He is always finding new ways to make us smile. He is always finding new ways to make something dangerous. He is quite simply: precious.
Cason woke up our family two years ago - in more than the traditional way. He surrounded us with his love - and love of adventure - and his caring, gentle soul. This child is wise beyond his years. He has an old soul. He loves everyone, and everything and finds happiness in every moment.
He runs through the house shouting for his hero, Noah. You can hear his little voice get louder and louder as he becomes more and more determined to find him. And Noah has endless patience for the monkey that turns off his computer during mid-game and turns his "clean" room into a hurricane of books, cars, and blocks. Noah welcomes Cason into his room, shares his friends and his time, and is eager to wake him up in the morning to play. They have a delightful relationship and it is just a joy to see them chase each other - whether on the Radio Flyer - or down the field, or running wild through the house. Cason has brought the fun and giggles into our busy home.
Cason can lift my spirits in ways that I can't explain. He looks deep into my eyes and pulls me close for a cuddle. He has a zest for life and living and climbing and he is always two steps away from a major accident.
As the third child he is often taken along for the ride. He spends more time in the car than the other kiddos - but he does it with a smile. He is easy-going and is content with his place in the family. He is patient with Cecily - even when she takes his favorite toy or pushes him out of the way. (We're so proud of Cecily asserting herself - but we're working on her developing manners!) I love Cecily's nickname but no one says it better than Cason. He loves his Cece and I love that even at two he seems to know when she needs a little extra attention.
I thank God every day for the appreciation that having Cason has given me. With Noah, I simply took his health, his happiness and his development for granted. Ignorance really is bliss. I worried about silly things - and everything - but in a completely new Mommy sort of way. I found everything Noah did perfection - but I didn't enjoy it because I didn't let myself. The joy was there - I was just too focused on ensuring he was doing everything according to the milestone chart - and I was always worried he was going to get hurt. I smothered him.
With Cecily, the stress was so great, the pain so deep, that I was just surviving for the first two years. I was so grateful that she was alive - and growing - but I was always waiting for the shoe to drop. I couldn't seem to relax because of the "unknown"... the fear that perhaps next year she wouldn't be with us. On a daily basis she forced me to appreciate the gifts in our life - and she woke us up to the blessings in our life. But just surviving was our goal. And ensuring Noah (at just a toddler) was not lost in the shuffle.
So imagine our surprise when Cason came along in 2012. Could we handle another child? Would we have enough time for him? How would the other kids respond? Was it the right decision? Were we now officially in over our head? The questions swirled until he burst onto the scene. He was joy from day 1.
It was quite simply - the best decision ever! Cason is a present. We unwrap him every day. We see the world through his eyes. We appreciate everything he does - and we don't worry about anything he can't yet do. We appreciate his passion for life and his good health. We welcome the typical tantrums and toddler antics. We are not upset by breaks in our sleep or messes in the house. We don't fear. We just enjoy him for who he is and what he brings into our home.
Thank you Cason for waking up our family to the simple joys of life again. Thank you for forcing us to smile at least 20 times a day. You are a constant reminder of what life is all about. We can't take ourselves too seriously. We simply have to let life wash over us. Thank you for making big messes. Thank you for sharing your food with the dog. Thank you for cheering on Noah at every game, event, practice. Thank you for giving up your toys to Cecily when you just know in your little heart that it is the right thing to do. And thank you for fighting with her when she is being a pistol because you know she is strong enough to handle it. Thank you for giving the biggest hugs and for taking the largest falls and dusting yourself off like nothing happened.
You inspire me every day. You make me want to be just like you. Tough. Fearless. Happy. You complete our wonderful family.
You are pure joy from your bright blue eyes to your chubby little thighs.
Happy Birthday Baby! We love you to pieces.
Onwards and upwards!