...you're mature enough and patient enough to delay your celebration by 24 hours, if your actual birthday happens to land on the busiest day of the week for the family--the kind of day in which the amount of time that the whole family is together in the same house and awake is about five minutes or less. So it was with Tobin this year: when given a choice of whether to celebrate his birthday a day early or a day late, he chose a day late, knowing that Grandpa wouldn't be with us if he chose a day early.
Nine-year-olds--especially kind, thoughtful, wise ones like him--can do this sort of thing. :)
First, he's gravitating toward the big guys. I used to think that I had two Bigs (Josiah and David), two Middles (Tobin and Shav), and two Littles (Moriah and Benjamin). I don't group them in quite the same way anymore. Oh sure, sometimes they fall neatly into those categories; but more often than previously happened, Tobin fits into the Josiah and David group. One example is the movies that he's allowed to watch: things that might be too scary for Shav (like some of the Star Wars movies or the Narnia movies) are fine for Tobin.
I know what it's like to be a younger child striving to be like the older ones (as the youngest in my family, that's ALL I know!), and I recognize that effort in Tobin more and more. He's growing up. :)
Second, he surprises me with his powers of observation, especially with visual details. I first noticed this when he was learning to read, which was a lengthy, drawn-out process as I've mentioned before. When I was sitting with him, just waiting for him to read "The cat has a hat" or what-have-you, he would first be studying the illustrations--and then quite often, telling me what was wrong with them. "I think they should have given the cat a bigger hat," or "those whiskers don't look right," or "why did they color it green?", he would say. I would think, "Just read the words!" And he would think, "I could have drawn it better!" ;-)
Another time I noticed how observant he is occurred during our recent Christmas holiday. We were sitting at the kitchen table one time, and he had been looking at the nutcrackers which we had set up in the windows between our kitchen and living room. Suddenly he asked, "Why are the nutcrackers' eyebrows black but their hair is white? The eyebrows should be white, too!" And you know, he's right! I hadn't thought of it before, but my son who looks and notices and ponders and questions did.
Tobin is a JOY. The more he grows, the more I learn about the unique young man God is raising him up to be. It's a fascinating process, and I give overflowing thanks for the privilege of being the mother of this beloved child.
My precious, adored Tobin Bear.