Friday, January 3, 2014

My Clayton

His birthday - celebrating 11 years at the close of 2013 - was an opportunity to reflect back
to the time surrounding his birth, and to praise Jesus for sharing this fellow with us.

First as a baby, now as a full-fledged boy, and hopefully on into manhood!

On my children's birthdays I love to retell to them their story.  Each one is unique and each
one has it's own quirky twists.

Clayton came fast.  I arrived at the hospital 9cm dilated, and his dad determined not
to drive with a transitioning wife again if it were in his power :-D

We had called my folks on our way to the hospital and when my mom arrived,
AJ met her out in the hall and sent her in to say hello to me.
She was uncertain if this would be the best time to say hello - while I labored -
and had planned to wait in the waiting room with my brother Charlie.

AJ ushered her into my room, dimly lit, peaceful, and quiet.  With covers tucked
snugly around me, I asked her if she'd like to "see him" referring to the small bundle
in the crook of my possessive arm.
That look of incredulity was priceless as her eyebrows shot up and mouth dropped
open.  "Wha...?"  For indeed, we were all done. Three and a half hours from the start,
and an 8 pound baby boy later. His name: Clayton Praise.

My midwife said that sounded like a big name for such a little person.
We knew it would fit just right and he would grow into it :-)

My hospital stay with Clayton was particularly special in memory because of all the
time my brother Charlie spent hanging around.
He had been in a motorcycle accident earlier in the year and was relatively incapacitated
due to the llizarov apparatus on his leg.  He was falling head over heals for Auntie
Hannah at that time and while they were just recently engaged, Char had some time on
his hands while he was recovering from multiple surgeries on his leg and Auntie Hannah
was tied up with Nursing school.
It is precious to remember him sitting across from my hospital bed with his foot propped
up on a chair.  Sharing Clayton and just being together.  It was a special time.

Clayton is a guy with a sunny disposition, joyful countenance and content spirit.
I'm so grateful to be mom to this boy!  He delights my heart and is a major part
in creating our family's identity.  I will be in awe if the Lord allows me to be a part
of his life as he comes into manhood, and may his dad and I have wisdom and
understanding as we gently support the stretching of his wings.

Clayton, I love you buddy!

Each of his siblings poured out lots of love and sweet gifts to make Clayton's birthday special.

His great Grampa F would be proud to know that Clayton has started a tradition of requesting
and making together with me, Lemon Meringue Pies as his "Birthday Cake" (that was Grampa's
I'm so glad for something different from Chocolate after all the Christmas treats and I too, love
Lemon Meringue, but boy-howdy it's a process to make!  So I'm glad for this sunshiny guy
as an extra special excuse to make something I'd otherwise never attempt 3 days after Christmas :-)

*That's my boy!*

And after his brother Zack sent him on a marvelous and very clever scavenger
hunt to find a pair of (wished-for) polarized sunglasses (so that he could see into
the water when he went fishing)... I really couldn't compete.
So I made up a little rhyme for our final gift.

"Jump 15 times..."

"...and stand on your head..."

"...Make a good wish...

...and go look in your bed."

Oh Boy!
Clay has had his heart set on a banjo for the last few years.  I think we're finally ready to get him
some lessons to go with it (which has been the real hold-up), though banjo teachers aren't as
numerous as piano and violin teachers in these parts!

Last month we visited a man who let Clayton try out a couple banjos.  Although I was impressed
that an "Old Time" banjo (one without a back on the pot) had a quieter sound (here I am thinking
like a mother, about a beginning banjo student living in my house!!)...
Clay knew right from the start that a Blue Grass banjo had stolen his heart.

After a lot of used shopping, we decided to go ahead and buy new for our guy.
I was pretty tickled with the banjo we decided on (thanks to some direction from that fellow
we visited in Parker), and was equally certain that Clay would be over the moon.

He was.

Clay has told me that he loves Banjo because
"you just can't make a banjo play sad music, mom."

And he may be right.  Whatever it plays, my heart already leaps just to hear plucked strings
in our home.  I can't wait to hear it's happiest sounds.  They'll go so well with this smiling face :-)

Happy Birthday Clayton Praise!   Play on!


Anonymous said...

Loved his birth story. Happy Birthday!

Momma Bug said...

Nikki you are a dear. I enjoy watching your family grow too!
Hugs to you :-)

Cinnamon said...

Super duper perfect! From the smiles, to standing on his head to the banjo!! love it all ♥

Happy Birthday to your "baby" boy. Such a young man he is now :-)


Pam said...

What a beautiful family and precious blog you have. Happy Birthday to your son. Our little grandson Ezra's birthday was the 31st of Dec. It is nice to celebrate a birthday at the end of the year, like a final happiness to the year. Love the Banjo you got him, and what he said about it; "you can't play sad music with a banjo". I look forward to reading more of your blog. Thank you for stopping by and commenting on mine. Such a small world… thinking of you driving by the Garden of the Gods today. Happy New Year.

Diane said...

Love this! Music nourishes the soul for sure. Hoping to get back into my instruments this year too.

Sally said...

Loved the wonderful recent posts and PIX!!! The banjo is so much sure that is a gift that will give back much in pleasure to all.


Hannah said...

Analene, there were tears flowing for me remembering those early days and Clayton's arrival! Such precious moments...the arrival of those little nephews planted seeds of hope in me for someday having my own warm bundles! I am so excited for Clayton's banjo!!! I am really looking forward to having some music on the mountains...nice happy music!