Since I posted last, we've enjoyed two family celebrations. First came Easter Sunday, which was extra-special this year because our kids were part of the services. Our church choir sing a song called "Baba Yetu", which is the Lord's prayer in Swahili, while people acted out the ministry, death and resurrection of Christ during the song. Our children and some dear friends' children got to be part of the storytelling.
Their part was to join a few other friends in hugging the man playing Jesus, then linking hands and going around in a circle together. Then, during the resurrection scene, the children waved gold ribbons and danced up and down the center aisle. The fascinating thing was that they needed no coaching whatsoever -- they were so excited to hug Jesus, and so joyful as they danced. That was a lesson in itself.
Anya Rashi was the youngest child to participate, and she understood that there was an ordinary man playing Jesus, but she responded to him as though he were a celebrity or something. It was very thought-provoking to compare her reaction to our Jesus character with the way our culture idolizes movie stars or pop singers . . . I sure hope that as she grows, she is able to retain her sense of wonder for the things that are truly wonderful.
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The other celebration was Nathan's 9th birthday! He is such a spark in our lives, bringing a lot of energy and laughter to our family. He was also our surprise baby -- after waiting a year to become pregnant with Aaron, suddenly we were shocked at a positive pregnancy test the day after Aaron's first birthday! I remember laughing with Peter and having happy tears when we found out we were expecting a second child. After wondering for a year if we were going to be able to have a baby at all, it was a total joy to suddenly have two sons within 19 months of each other.
On the night of his birthday, I told Nathan a few stories about his earlier years (which he LOVES hearing). How many two-year-olds do you know who have the vocabulary to say "Never!" when told to go to the time out chair? Or to pronounce, from the time-out chair, "This was a very bad idea!"
He is so creative -- the Egyptian birthday theme was his idea. He loves history, and ancient Egypt is his current fascination. Originally, I broke out in a cold sweat at the idea figuring out how to make some kind of Egyptian cake -- but we had a great time searching online for photos of sarcophaguses?? sarcophagi?? , and then it was great fun to take direction from my son as we put his cake together (not to mention the fun facts he shared about how mummies were prepared . . .).
Poor guy is home sick today with a fever and cold, his second day missing school this week. And you know he's really sick, because he's missing a field trip to a planetarium today. We will just have to go on our own when he's well again.
Nathan, we are so happy to have you in our family. Your sense of adventure, your tender heart, your funny streak, your creativity and your love of learning make us so grateful to be your parents. You fill a unique spot in our hearts and lives, and we thank God for you, dear son. Happy 9th birthday!