Last week, we celebrated my daughter on the occasion of her sixth birthday. This week, we will be celebrating our twins on the occasion of their second birthday. You’ll notice that I did not use the phrase “celebrated their birthday.” The choice of words is deliberate.
I don’t generally get excited about birthdays, per se. However, I am indescribably excited about my children. So, if there’s an opportunity or excuse to celebrate my children, then I’ll take it. Birthdays seem to provide just such an excuse. I can tolerate the cake, candles, gifts, and other traditional gestures, but what really interests me is communicating to my children that they are precious to our family and that we delight in them.
On her birthday, we had some of our daughter’s friends from the neighborhood over to play and eat cake. We opened presents sent from grandparents. We went out for pizza and ice cream. That was all fun and exciting, but what really mattered to me was tucking my daughter in at bedtime. I prayed with her and thanked God for the six years of life we have gotten to enjoy with her already. I told her that we hope to enjoy many more years with her and to celebrate her many more times during those years. I told her how amazingly blessed our family is because she’s a part of it. She smiled from ear to ear and glowed with happiness because she knows her family delights in her. That was, by far, the best moment of the day.
After the kids were all in bed, I spent some time talking with my wife. We spoke about how the day’s events of celebrating our daughter and looking back over the past six years together gave us a lot of joy and it also built up our anticipation of the new baby on the way. In about another month, we’ll have another new life to celebrate in our family. Looking back at the years we’ve already enjoyed with our kids also caused us to look ahead to the years before us with children yet to be. The more we celebrate the children we already have, the more excited we get about celebrating the next child as well.
We are looking forward the arrival of our next baby sometime around the end of August. That day will be a day of great celebration. We anticipate tears of joy, lots of hugs and smiles, and hearts full of gladness because we celebrate life and we celebrate children.