I'm not sure who it was, or when it was, or why that person said it; but regardless, the nickname stuck and has been used countless times through the years. As he's gotten older, maybe I've slightly reduced the number of times I call him that. But maybe not. He still is--and always will be--my adorable, beloved, sweet little Tobin Bear. :)
But he's not such a little bear anymore!
Because his birthday landed on a Monday this year, and because that's not exactly the most convenient day for a birthday celebration due to Monday evening rehearsals with the Shenandoah Valley Children's Choir, we decided to celebrate a day early. Tobin didn't mind. :)
Shav really wanted to be the one to hand the gifts to Tobin, and Tobin kindly let him do that. :)
We gave him...
If I had to say which of his gifts was the best, I'd have to choose the tools. Bright and early the morning of his actual birthday, Tobin was outside in the cold, damp weather, using his tools for a "horse stable" he and our neighbor boy Jason are building. In reality, it is currently just some boards nailed together, but it's a start! :)
* He says--and has for a long time--that he wants to be a cowboy. He knows that he's got some big expenses coming up, like a horse and a saddle; and he's very motivated to earn "Cowboy Money" so he can save up for those items! :) The other day, he helped me carry in a lot of wood from the woodshed to our porch and was happy to receive a dollar of Cowboy Money. Other times, he'll ask me if there are any jobs he can do to earn Cowboy Money, and I'll have him clean the stair railings and some mirrors and windows and things like that. He's definitely motivated by Cowboy Money! :)
* Almost every afternoon, he spends some time playing outside with Jason, our neighbor. Shav, who is closer in age to Jason, joins in sometimes, too, but at other times, chooses to stay in the house and play inside (which is what I would choose, too, in the wintertime!). :) Tobin, on the other hand, is rarely daunted by cold weather. He'll spend hours outside and not seem to be bothered by the chill.
* One of the things that has brought Tobin much joy recently is riding his bike. I forget if I mentioned it on the blog--I think it must have just been on Facebook--but Tobin determinedly taught himself to ride without training wheels, one cold day in December (I think). I looked back at previous posts and discovered that Josiah taught himself to ride a bike when he was seven, as did David. It appears that, without even trying to, Tobin beat both his big brothers by accomplishing this when he was still six. :)
* Tobin's special love for animals continues. I don't know when we first noticed this characteristic about him; but at least by the time he was a year and a half, I had written about it. I know he's only seven, and I know there is much time ahead in which he can change his mind, and I'm not trying to cement him into a career path at such a young age, believe me! But I would not be a bit surprised if he ends up choosing a job that involves working with animals. Even if he doesn't, I'm guessing he'll have quite a menagerie of pets in his home. :)
Many, many times when Tobin was a baby, the word "adorable" came to my mind when I thought of him. I flat-out adored that boy! A lot has changed in the past seven years, but this has not: I still adore him! :)
Happy 7th birthday, sweet Tobin Bear! We love you so much and thank God for the gift that you are to us!!! :)