March 27, 2006

A glimpse into Ciaran

I realized that Ciaran's birthday presents this year offer a real glimpse into the boy he is. We are giving him a West African Balaphon, two meaningful books, a homemade fireman's hat and pair of mittens, a sketchbook and pencils, and some star wars toys.

The balaphon represents his love of music and his increasing desire to learn. He truly wants to learn an instrument and wants something of his own. We saw this and thought of him. Not the typical first instrument but somehow it fits him just right.

The fireman's hat was originally going to be chainmail but somehow this was the project I ended up knitting. It fits his love of dress up and being a hero. Hours of imaginary play and protecting his sisters and me to follow.

The mittens were a last minute project done just this past weekend. His is starting ice skating lessons tomorrow and needed another pair of mittens, ones that were flexible but warm, I decided a felted pair of mittens would do the trick.

The star wars toys represent his fun side and his love of playing but also a special connection and relationship with his dad who loves star wars. It is a move into boyhood and sharing those connections with daddy.

He also got a baseball bat and mitt a few weeks ago on a special daddy date and he can't wait for the snow to melt so he can try out his new sports equipment and also his skateboard. The skateboard and ice skating are clear Olympics influences.

The sketchbook and pencils go hand in hand with one of the books (The Raft) he is receiving and are a link between his love of drawing, learning and nature. Creating his own special "nature notebook" and his observations on God's creation that he has a special bond with.

The last two gifts are perhaps the most important ones for me to give him and really show his personality right now. Typically we buy one special book for their birthday each year but this year I could not decide between two and bought them both. I wrote an inscription inside each book and I will share it here. The inscriptions relate both to the books and my son. To the parts of the books that I want to highlight or remind me of him.

The first book "I'd Be Your Hero: A royal tale of Godly character" by Kathryn O'Brein was also the subject of a recent class. The story of a boy and his mother and a representation of the godly character traits little boys have and develop. My inscription:

"Dearest Ciaran,

You are 5 years old! Hooray! I am proud of the boy you are and of the man you will one day become. You will always be my hero and I will always love you just the way God made you.

I know that you will always stand up for and protect me and your sisters all the days of your life. Ciaran you are brave, compassionate, determined, a hard worker, fiercely loyal, talented, humble, smart, able to make good choices, friendly, cheerful with an infectious smile and laugh, caring, strong, generous, prayerful, respectful and obedient.

You are special and my hero just the way God made you and by the good choices you make each day as you grow into that man. I will always love you my son."


The second book we will give him is "The Raft" by Jim LaMarche. It is about a boy who goes to stay with his grandmother on a lake and finds a love of nature and an artist within himself through the events of the summer. This book just screams Ciaran, he is so into nature and all that goes with it. My inscription:

"Dearest Ciaran,

Happy 5th birthday! This book just called your name to me. You are my "little naturalist" and no doubt if we lived on a river you would be our "river rat." You have a love and heart for God's creation. Hold it close and nurture it all the days of your life.

You also have a quiet artistic side that I am sure will develop over time. Nurture those gifts and passions that God has granted you and laid upon your heart. May you draw closer to Him each day of your life as you wonder at and appreciate His masterful creation.

All our love,
Mommy and Daddy"

Perhaps these presents give you a glimpse into dear Ciaran and I suppose also into us as parents and what we choose to give as gifts to him and the reasons behind them. I have enjoyed these five years and am thankful for the blessing he is to our family and to my heart.


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