When I think of our younger son Andrew, the first thing that comes to mind is his feisty yet sweet spirit. He is not one to be led, not easily influenced (even by his parents). I am pretty sure the phrase “small but mighty” was inspired by him.
Andrew is six years old today. It’s hard to believe exactly six years ago we were attempting to check into the hospital for our scheduled delivery appointment. “Y’all aren’t scheduled for today,” the snotty receptionist tried to tell us, as if we were too thick to get the delivery date of our baby right. Woman READY to deliver + man READY for woman to deliver = I’ll let you guess how that turned out for the receptionist.
Responsibility rang loud and clear once we brought him home from the hospital, for us and for Jacob, who was nearly four at the time and becoming more independent by the day. We realized we were starting over with diapers, nighttime feedings, spit up, bulky car seats and quadruple the laundry loads. Jacob actually asked at dinner one night when Andrew would be going back to his real home.
Rebel Yell is the only way to describe Andrew’s hair when he was a baby. It grew straight up, like a Troll doll. It was immune to any gravitational force. Teenaged boys who spent most of their lawn mowing money on hair product to achieve the same result remarked with awe (and a tinge of jealousy), “Cool hair!” This happened on a near-daily basis. Andrew stared back at them with a deadpan expression, with his fingers in his mouth. “Sucks to be you,” he seemed to say. Imagine my surprise when Andrew started flicking his vertical coiffure with his open palm at us when we scolded him. It was as if he was giving us the bird in his own little language. Somehow cute and incredibly naughty at the same time. It was all we could do not to laugh out loud.
It has been years since he has referred to himself as “Baby NuNu,” his way of asserting himself as the baby of the family, cleverly manipulating all of the adults in his life. In these moments, his big blue eyes said, “You want me to be the baby in this family? I’ll take you up on that and then some!”
Over the years, little Andrew has become not-as-little Andrew. He has his own likes and dislikes, his own friends, his own wants and desires, his own relationship with the Lord. His world is becoming more and more his own all the time, and just the way he likes it. He loves soccer, his buddies at school, Legos, puzzles, music, art, the beach, and on and on and on. He’s assertive, loving, hilarious and deep all at the same time. He’s fiercely loyal and enormously thoughtful. He’s an observer, yet has an uncanny ability to insert himself into the center of the action when HE is ready. On HIS terms.
Russia and Scotland both claim St. Andrew as their patron saint. If St. Andrew was anything like my Andrew, I’d say they made an excellent choice.
Happy Birthday, Son. I love you.