Caleb turns 19 today. So here I am in my USAFA psyche at my computer, missing him.
But 19 years ago I walked into these doors in a lot of pain and with no small amount of trepidation, little knowing the amazing gift that God was giving us. A perfectly healthy boy, a perfect size, a good sleeper, an avid eater, whose ear was tuned to music even before he could talk. A runner, a thinker, a loyal friend, a good brother.
A hardworking student, an adventurer, the one who was always up for a longer hike or a new route. A boy with an ear for irony, a dry humor, a quick wit. A kid who values sacrifice over comfort, service over success. Who is willing to see things a little differently, and think them through. A young person who has been condemned by his Kenyan birth to an American family to not quite fit in anywhere. Yet who is perceptive and thoughtful about his outsider-ness, whom others seek out. A young man who has suffered and whose suffering has produced perseverance. Who keeps on in spite of injury and setback, who works through pain . . . but who also loves to be alone with a guitar, to sleep deeply, to eat well, to watch the sunset.
A kid for whom we feel equal parts of grief (when he struggles, when we say goodbye, when his life is difficult) and joy (in who he is).
Which is the nature of being a parent, and accentuated by a birthday separated by continents once again.
So this post is for Caleb, a celebration of 19 years of making us smile. And this verse could be his for the year:
For the LORD takes pleasure in his people;
he adorns the humble with salvation.
Let the godly exult in glory;
let them sing for joy on their beds.
Let the high praises of God be in their throats,
and two-edged swords in their hands . . . . Psalm 149: 4-6
Caleb is one who leads in worship, in music, in singing (and he likes his bed); Caleb is also strong in mind and body, training as a warrior. God takes pleasure in this humble guy, and we do too. We pray that God leads him in good paths this year. And that our paths intersect as much as possible!! Happy Birthday Caleb. We love you.