Picking up the next apple sitting by the heap of skin bits, “Keep going,” I thought, “It’s his thing.”
And I peeled one more apple, and before I knew it, 8 naked apples, sat ready to be sliced for a pie. A pie for a man whose birthday it was, a man who doesn’t like cake–but pies. So with the pin and the flour and the piles of red speckled apple skins that toddler boy hands carried in fists down to the chickens who greeted their snack, “Mama, they liked them!” they grinned on arriving back into the kitchen. “And they said they like my shoes,” one added.
Chickens who care about toddler fashion, pretty good.
He and Maria were out on some arbitrary mission, she told me she would not share the secret as she almost burst with pride at the idea of being the distractor, as I slid the pie brimming with sliced and spiced apples into the oven.
“Something is cooking,” the boys returned minutes later, breathless, looking around for the smells coming from the oven. Cinnamon and warm apples filling our home, interrupting their play, for a moment.
“Mama, do you want to be this monster truck?”
“That’s the one,” as we waited for the beeper, and the other two returned home.
Maria and Andrew smiled as they walked in, smelling and we bundled for the beach, hopping in the car.u
Cute tourist families charged the waves, capturing each moment with their phones as we bundled up in our warmest, even our Russians, whose blood now fits into Southern California temperament.
We sliced and ate, we watched the waves, shining in gold.
When the boys finished, they scampered off to someone’s deserted beach day’s hard work, shadowed from the sun almost set. Sloping sand castles becoming roads under toddler construction vehicles, sound effects of excavators escaping rounded cheeks, their team of two demolishing, sand deflated and flush, but ready for the construction workers the next day will bring.
They worked, until they saw Andrew was done.
Even on his birthday, it was him giving love to all of us. Cause we all can’t get enough of this guy, who is now 33 years old. (Oldie) Toddler arms, stretched up and ready will be met, lips ready for kisses will find his. Tears will be caught by his hand.
Sometimes if I feel worried about my kids growing older and heading out into the world, I think, but wait–they have Andrew as their Dad. He doesn’t miss chances to invest in them, his priorities are people, his virtues are noble, and I see him shaping them already. He is humble, and probably wouldn’t even want me writing all this, but it’s true. He is a man who loves God and desires to learn from Him, wise enough to seek out a manner of living different to what we would think, a man who loves people and has no problem sacrificing for them. He loves his family, genuinely with his time and actions. His heart and smile.
He brings us all peace and joy.
And guess what…it’s his birthday!
All cause he loves us so good.
After stomping the beach and enjoying sandy pie, we walked down to Pizza Port, where someone complimented Finley on his shoes. Finley looked at me, “Mama…I like her.”
“Mama…I love you all up!”
Dancing to the Wiggles.
//Funny Story: For the first time, we saw Maria with an attitude, and it was the best moment ever. Ever. Fleeting, but amazing.
It started with Andrew, “Singing a Frozen Song.” Frozen…every parent has a silent tear when we hear those songs one more time.
So, he sang, “Let it snow….let it snow, can’t hug me back anymooooore. The snow always bothers me every day.”
And Maria whipped her head around and stared at him, “That’s not how it goes,” she was laughing, jovial.
“Yes it is,” he retorted. “Let it snoooooooow….LET IT SNOOOOW.”
A look of bewildered shock hung on her lips, “No…” was all she could muster, thinking of all the times she had sung it to him, countless, how could he not know the one song second to the gospel, look on her face. Which only egged him on.
So, with eyes closed now, belting, “Can’t HOLD MY CAT ANYMORE! Let it snow”
Eyebrows down, smile gone, I held back my laugh, “Papa, you could never be sinning on stage,” she told him, low, serious.
“I can’t be sinning on stage?” he asked as we cracked up.
When she found out he was joking, it was suddenly the second best day of her life, “Daddy, I was SO WORRIED!”
Happy Birthday Andrew. You make life beautiful because you are in the world.
Also, thanks for being the best poop smith for the cloth diapers, that does not go unnoticed 😉
Is there something special you make for your person on their birthday other than cake? How’s the Frozen epidemic in your house? Does anyone want me to share the recipe for the pie crust, it’s wonderful.