By nature – I am a planner and a list maker. Oh – how I love a good list! Organizing things and cleaning make me happy. I keep calendars. I do not procrastinate. I am pretty neat and tidy. I delight in routine. I prefer to be prepared. Preparing is actually my happy place!
I am not a huge fan of surprises. (Jason knows a surprise birthday party [for me] or a surprise trip to someplace exotic would so totally NOT be my thing. I would STRONGLY prefer to be in on the planning and the decision making for such things. Okay – I would NEED to be in on all of that!!!)
In spite of this tendency to be just a teeny-tiny bit tightly wound – I learned long ago I needed to accept that life is full of twists and turns and all of sorts surprises. So – so – so many twists and turns and so many crazy surprises!?!?!?!
The single biggest surprise of my life arrived at 4:44 pm on December 21, 2012, and weighed just over 8 pounds.
This surprise came into our lives on the first day of winter and on the last day of the 5,126 year-long cycle of the Mayan calendar. Some folks thought December 21, 2012, might just be the END OF THE WORLD. It was being bantered about in some circles as the Mayan Apocalypse. Seriously – it was a real thing. Some folks were saying there would be a cataclysmic natural disaster like a massive volcanic eruption or an earthquake like we had never seen before or even a gigantic tsunami.
Others thought Planet “X” was finally going to reveal itself to us causing a gigantic black hole to develop which would make our entire solar system disappear into nothingness immediately!
None of these things happened. The world did not end – thankfully. BUT my world was turned upside down and inside out on December 21, 2012, by a very small – very noisy – very demanding surprise.
We named this particular surprise William Andrew! And yes – we were well aware this surprise was on the way long before December 21, 2012. . .
William may make the occasional mess or 800. And our sweet Will is one stubborn dude (he gets that from Jason – of course) – but he is not a wreaker of havoc or a harbinger of doom.
Rather our youngest son is a joy bearer and laughter machine! He is intense – wow – is he intense!?!?! He is passionate and kind and chatty and extroverted in a family of proud – card-carrying introverts.
Will McFarland may have been born on the shortest day of the year – but he brings light into our lives.
William McFarland has been teaching me important life lessons from the moment we learned he would be joining our family.
What have you learned from the people in your life? So often we focus on what we old people have to teach our children – but what have the children in your life taught you? How have you grown or been blessed by your own relationships?
Will turned 9 on Tuesday. And our family celebrated in the way William wanted to celebrate. Will made the plan. Will did the choosing and the thinking of the thinks and we simply executed it to the best of our abilities.
The morning started off with helping out at the church. Will actually likes hanging out at the church. As a pastor’s kid – Saint Stephen truly is his second home. He and Jack helped me get ready for Christmas Eve. There were candles to count and prep. Worship booklets and communion needed to be placed on the chairs. Ladders were climbed and then stowed safely away. The vacuum was run in the offices and cobwebs were attacked. There were errands to take care of around the building and countless things to do. The McFarland men and I were busy and happy and excited. Christmas is coming and it was Will’s birthday!!!!!!!!!
Next up was a trip to the model train store during Jason’s lunch break. Will is in a “train phase” these days. And now our boy is the proud engineer of his very own “N” scale model train. He is in love! Will and his train have been spending A LOT of time together.
And Will’s birthday party was all of his own planning and choosing and coordinating too. He invited Caitlyn – Jack – his dad – and me. (Will has clearly adapted to Covid-19 protocols better than some folks!)
First -Will opened his presents. He liked Caitlyn’s gift the best! She presented him with the board game CLUE!
He chose the menu. We dined on sushi.
Then we played CLUE! What a totally awesome game. It is so much fun. We played again last night and plan to play again every evening for the rest of our lives . . . (Caitlyn won the first round and Jack won last night.)
Then we sang the Happy Birthday song to our boy and devoured our desserts.
Life is full of surprises. So far – my favorite surprise wears orange most days and inherited his dad’s hazel eyes. (Jack was so totally part of my 10-year plan almost 20 years ago now!)
What are your greatest blessings and favorite surprises?
Merry Almost Christmas!