It would be easy, REAL easy to go and get all sappy.
I could tell you all about how I hold my new little nephew and fight back the tears because my own newborn babies are long gone… they've given way to these big, sticky, bustling, loud forces to be reckoned with.
I could wax on about how baby Collin was born just two short days before my youngest's birthday, and how it's made me all nostalgic, remembering what it felt like to have a new life in my arms just after Thanksgiving, as all the Christmas jolly-making was beginning.
Today, on my baby's birthday, I could mourn over how quickly he and his brothers are growing up, but instead, help me out here folks, instead I'm going to focus on right here, right now, today.
And today is pretty grand.
Our Ryder is something else.
He's the 4 year old version of John Wayne – a straight shootin, swaggerin' son of a gun.
He tells it like it is.
He's not shy and not going to take any lip offa no one, no sir.
He's tough and in charge and he keeps all our cheeks hurting from laughing at the crazy things that come out of his mouth.
He's a lover – rubbing my cheeks and playing with my hair and saying things like, "You're my girl." and "I'm gonna fall in love with you, girl."
And he's a fighter too. Just you try to tell him that he's too little to do something, and you'll find out real quick that he means business.
We love him a lot. A lot a lot.
So today, Ryder's oldest brother, the one who dreams of being a farmer and a chef (all at once), the same one that has "Easy Bake Oven" at the top of his Christmas list, decided to make a meal, front to back, as a gift for his crazy kid brother.
He made calzones.
And he made cheesecake!
Real cheesecake… real GOOD cheesecake!
Luke also used his own money to buy Ryder his very own fish. (a fact that has resulted in my saying things a person should never have to say, like "please do not put your lips in the fish bowl!")
Ryder's other brother, James, had something special in mind for him too. See, James is forever building elaborate towers and castles. Ryder is forever wanting to karate chop them and revel in the resulting crash. This causes many a rowdy debate.
But today, James patiently built and rebuilt, again and again, so that Ryder could karate chop and shout "kablooey!" to his heart's content. It was his gift… a whole day of building just for the sake of demolition.
You know, babies are magic, fantastic and wonderful in every way, but big boys are pretty great in their own right. It is an amazing gift to see that all that love lavished on them as babies has taken root. They are growing into loving men, able to spoil someone they care about in their own uniquely wonderful way.
It was a good day.
A very good day indeed.
Happy Fourth Birthday Ryder!