This boy, Calvin, shines so bright in my life.
Everything about him is fresh and familiar and just full to the brim. If I had to pick, I would say he challenges me the most as a parent trying to guide. He negotiats and presses his own reasoning about boundries, he questions... always questions! Thing is, he reminds me of me. Through and through. He is intuitive and sensitive and curious, full of imagination, all of life is so big before him. And, he is fully age 4, with all the quirks, the spaz, the funny quips... you know, four-ness.
There are the parts to Calvin that, oh my goodness, are so incredibly pure and beautiful. The way he hunches down on his heels and interacts with his brothers, talking at a level they can understand, drawing them into his imaginative plans. He is patient and understanding. He is excited to make any new acquaintance. If you are within talking distance, expect a "Hello! My name is Calvin!" He just has a desire to connect. I mean he is just that warm and open and unpretentiously friendly. This part of him reminds me of his Daddy-O--the ease of connection, the non-judgement. I always say Ray can make a friend in 5 minutes... genuinely, mind you.
Calvin and I talk a lot about God these days. It was last spring he told me he would like to, I guess officially, tell Jesus "thank you" for his work of redemption. Tell Him he, Calvin David, wanted to do what Jesus does. We pray so often for the things of the Kingdom, this kid and I. We talk about the fruit of the Spirit. Often I will catch him acting out of that fruit and say, "Calvin! That was kindness! A fruit!" He runs to me, and what was intended to be a hug becomes a full tackle of unconstrained excitement. He is so open and trusting. He loves his Lord, and I love to watch it. Papa God, as we have begun to call him. This child astounds me with his faith and the delight in which he accepts the free, lavish love of his Papa in Heaven. If only I could believe so swiftly and easily just how much our Papa loves me. Calvin teaches me so much on this point.
Anyway, without further delay, this shining light, my Calvin David, has big news! Preschool!
For this extrovert kid, school has been a big thing, a hope for him. He has watched his brother Charlie go off to school on weekdays for 3 years while he stayed by my side at home. Often he would ask when it would be his turn, and I always told him his education was at home, and it was. Is, really. Last year he deduced that when he turned 5 he would "get" Down Syndrome, and then he would go to school. Sorry bud, doesn't work like that. Anyway, through a wonderful series of events, prayer and an unexpected blessing, we have been able to enroll Calvin in a really stellar preschool program. Just a couple hours four days a week, but I will tell you, for this busy boy always on the move, this insatiable appetite for new experiences, preschool has been so wonderful for him. It makes my heart so glad to watch his excitement. A lot of our family decisions revolve around Charlie, and really, this is the first time we have done something like this for Calvin. This is his thing, and I am so happy to give it to him.
Well, that is it! Calvin's big, exciting news! We are so happy for this guy to do this special thing. What a blessing. What a boy.