This blue eyed pistol of a boy is 7 years old today. I haven't thought much about what I was going to write in this post, but klp is home from school, requested to watch Peter Pan and drink "apple juice and orange juice mixed up together". What Birthday boy wants, birthday boy gets, so the TV is on, I served up his interesting drink request, and I have a few minutes to sit down so here I am. The day has been pretty heavy. I feel really far away today. Usually around this time of year in Longview it "felt" like their birthday. Its hard to describe but the weeks around March 26 have a certain feel to them. I think its a combination of the Spring weather, trees, grass, flowers, and the familiar paths and places I was that time. It takes me back to their birth, hospital stay, and all of that. I guess to some it might seem like a good thing to not be able to "feel" that, but I actually liked it. So in some ways, today hasn't felt like their birthday. On the other hand, I could be in China and have a great time celebrating this boy! No matter where or how, its fun to spend the day celebrating The Grand Kanyon! We've come a long ways in the last 7 years and every year I feel like I know Kanyon a little better and I'm getting a few more things figured out. Of course, every year I'm thrown new things to figure out too! Ha!
He has requested Ketchup, cheetos, and grapes for his birthday supper. So I plan on fulfilling those 3 things and maybe a main dish or two also! I got to take snacks to his Kindergarten class today. We made a trail mix of his favorite snacks since he's not a cupcake/cookies kind of guy. He came home from school to a bouquet of red balloons and couldn't wait to get one down to play with. He can't quite remember how old he is, but he'll figure it out soon. He's asked me several times today, "is it STILL my birthday?"
This kid will knock your socks off. Funny, charming, sweet, cuddly, fierce, determined, wild, friendly, loud, and giggly. I blame him for all my gray hair, but I should also give him credit for making my heart swell bigger than I ever thought possible. I hate so bad that he was born so tiny and that he deals with that every single minute of every single day. If I could change that I would in a heart beat. I would take away all of the things that make his life hard, but since I can't do that, I figure I'll spend the rest of my life watching in awe of the way this kid barrels through life with excitement, strength, and some good ol' fashioned gumption.
I can't help but reflect on the whole situation we were in this time 7 years ago. I think about the people we were surrounded by. Our families, our friends, Doctors, nurses....so many people circling around us and pushing through with us. To feel that sort of support is something a lot of people live their whole lives and never feel. 7 years later, I'm still humbled and moved by the love of the people around us. I still think about certain people that came to the hospital, sent cards, read our blog, called us, prayed for us, and loved us the way they knew how to love. I STILL can't get over it. I still can't believe it. And I still can't imagine how different our whole lives would be without that. Also, here's the thing: Those same people are still doing it! STILL! Surrounding, loving, helping, encouraging, remembering, empathizing, laughing, and carrying. And I am still humbled, thankful, blessed, and carried. The Twinkies we passed out at the hospital when they "twinkies" were born made the move to Montana. I had 2 left and they've lived in my fridge every since. We moved them with us and they are now in our fridge here. Weird the things you attach yourself too, huh?
In all his 7 year old glory, here are a few of Kanyon's favorite things:
- Red. Anything red.
- Ketchup. He's also really loving any kind of dip. He will dip ANYTHING in ANYTHING.
- Seeing other people in "eyeglasses like me!"
- Playing "I Spy"...it goes something like this "I spy........A RED BALLOON!" (maybe by 8 he'll hae it figured out)
- Rocking in his big rocking chair.
- Sleeping in my Tshirts.
- Taking baths. Playing in my bathroom sink. Swimming. Water water water.
- Apple juice.
- grapes, chips, Cheez Its, Animal crackers, apples, spinach leaves (with dip of course), meat.
- Ninja Turtles. Especially Raphael (the red one) and Splinter
- His Wendy (from Peter Pan) action figure ....can I call her an action figure? He always wants me to be Wendy and he'll be John (the boys with glasses) or Peter. Speaking of I can't find a John action figure.......help?
- Riding in someone else's car.
- Smelling other people's hair. (weird but true...at least he usually tells you that your hair is pretty and then asks you if he can smell it)
- He loves any of his "guys" or action figures. He gets carried away playing with them and its pretty sweet.
- Drawing with markers.
- Giggling and laughing (I happen to think he has the best laugh in the whole world).
- Lamp Lights.
- TV's in cool places (like a hotel, store, restaurants...)
- French Fries.
- Watching shows on the iPad
- Playing outside
- He gets a kick out of slapstick humor. The louder and sillier something is the better for him.
- Witches. Yes, witches. He's seen a few cartoons with witches (most recently a Sophia the First episode). He always wants to be a nice witch and say "abra cadabra" and make your hiccups go away or let you pick what animal he will turn you in to. He's already told me he wants to be a witch for Halloween. Is there such a thing as a boy witch?
- Asking people their names. And he's not too worried about whether or not its a socially acceptable time or not. If you come within his line of vision and you're within ear shot he's gonna say "What's your name?"
We are thankful to be able to celebrate another year with Kanyon Luke Phillips!
*pictures taken by my lovely and talented cousin Paige Pearson at Thanksgiving