You could have 20 kids and I guess each one of them would be as different from each other as they could be. Today I have the pleasure of wishing my 3rd child happy 16th birthday. I seem to be way more impressed about this 16th birthday than he is, but he is extremely choosy about the things he gets excited about and that is just one of the ways he differs from his brother and sister.
After the death of my husband's Mother, we realized how important family can be. Although my husband and his sisters don't share a terribly close relationship, mainly due to the age difference, they came together during my mother-in-laws illness. It's at that point that I realized that regardless how different siblings are, they offer comfort and support for each other in a unique way that no one else can provide. After her death we began discussing the benefits of having a 3rd child. When I got pregnant we were thrilled. It had been been 8 years since we had a baby in the house and I was excited to experience the joys of having a wee-one around again. For some reason I just felt like I was going to have a girl. Why? I have no clue but we were going to name her Chloe Victoria and I had made a beautiful pink frilly blanket and little sleepers. A few weeks before his birth, I went shopping in Norman with a friend who had just had a baby and another friend who was expecting shortly after me. My friend in Norman happened to be a nurse and while we were out shopping we swung by the hospital so she could do an ultrasound on the both of us. She lay on the table and ran the ultrasound wand over her belly and said "See the thing right there that looks like a turtle? See the little thing that looks like the turtle's head? That means it's a boy. That's my little boys turtle!!!!" I was excited to see what we would find out on me. I had an ultrasound earlier in my pregnancy but we really couldn't see anything. She lay me down on the table and applied the cold gel to my stomach. As she began to run the wand over my belly, black and gray gobbley goup appeared on the screen. I never understood how on earth you could make heads or tails out of that mess. Suddenly she got excited and pointed to the screen.... "Oh look Jac. You've got a turtle too!!!!" I swallowed deep and knew immediately that I had some planning to do! That pretty little pink rosebud blanket with lacy trim was not going to wrap around a turtle in the same way it would a rosy cheeked baby girl. When I got home that night I headed to church and made it just as service was starting. My husband played bass on the praise team and I was bursting at the seams to tell him the news. When praise and worship was over, he slipped in the pew beside me and I slipped a note in his hand that said "I have a little turtle and it's going to be a boy." He grinned wide and handed me back a note that said "COOL!!!". The morning of the 18th I went to my doctors appointment, totally ready to get show on the road. Even though it was still two weeks before my due date, I was tired and ready to hold my new little one. The doctor told me with confidence that it should happen any minute and told me not make it tonight because he had been up all night last night with a delivery and he was in no mood to lose another nights sleep. He didn't know it, but the worst thing he could have done was to boss this pregnant lady around. I went home and called my Daddy to see if he felt like going for a walk with me. I was tired of being pregnant and thought maybe all my little turtle needed was a slight nudge. So Daddy came over and we started out. My Dad has back problems and his back had really been acting up. When we got half way around the block and Daddy was several steps ahead of me, I knew I wasn't going to be able to make it for a full walk. We turned around and walked home.... I could barely move!! The kids came home from school and I started dinner. During dinner I looked at my husband and said, I think I'm having contractions, a statement that he seemed really unimpressed by. We got the kids tucked into bed and with more urgency I said, "I think I'm having contractions!" So we sat down, me on the couch, him in the rocker across from me. He had his stop watch and pen and paper in hand. Every time I had a contraction he timed it and wrote it down. The whole time I kept telling him..... "I think we should just go to the hospital." to which he responded.... "I don't think so hon, I'm afraid they would just send you home because we still have two weeks." After doing this for a while, I raised my voice to a more anxious level and told him we needed to go to the hospital! He had the nerve to say..... "I don't think so...... You need to be more consistent with your contractions. See here..... It was 1.5 minutes here and then here (as he pointed to his little chart), it's 3 minutes. They are going to want there to be more consistency before you come in or they will just sent you home and I'm afraid that will upset you." What was upsetting me was his little pen and his watch!!!!!"inconsistent" I was being to which she kind of agreed with my husband..... Then I told her that this was baby #3 for me. She calmly asked me to come in immediately!!!! Ha, him and his little chart. Quickly we called Mom and Dad to come sit with the kids and get them ready, and we headed to the hospital. A mere 3 hours later the sweetest sound on earth filled the delivery room. My rosy cheeked baby boy made his debut into this world with cries that were like a fresh breath to these two proud parents and grandparents. They lay him on my stomach as my husband cut the cord and my Mom tip toed to see over the nurses head to get a glimpse of the grand baby she would get to live in the same town with. When they moved him over to clean him up my Mom got a shoulder in between the nurses, because no one was going to get between her and her new grandson.
God knew exactly what he was doing when he designed Caleb. He knit him together in my womb knowing that I needed a calm, quiet, low maintenance child.... For once in my life (no offense kids). From day one he only cried when he had a need to be met or a schedule to be kept. When he began to crawl, he would crawl to his crib and shake it until I put him down for his nap (I'm not even exaggerating). As a toddler he had all of this cars separated from his dinosaurs. He would play with one group, put them back in their place and the play with the other group.... The two groups could not be mingled (no I'm not kidding). As he got older and played with Star Wars characters, they too had a separate place as did their weapons. If one was missing he was like the shepherd who left the 100 to look for the lost sheep... It needed to be put back where it belonged. This weekend as I was cleaning the house I opened the door to his room and everything was just as neat and tidy as always. Even though it seemed pointless, I vacuumed and dusted and wished to heavens that the rest of the house looked as neat as his room, then I was shamed because it didn't. He may not have much to say, but I assure you those still waters run deep. Of all of our children I think he is the least like me and the most like his Daddy as well as his oldest brother and Grandfather Patterson. He is quiet and organized (unlike me who can be rambunctious and messy). He has his Grandfather Patterson's smile and voice and well.... He is pretty much a mini me of all things Patterson. He has been a joy to raise and I know that the years will fly by even faster now that he is 16. I smile in wonder as I watch him mature and I wait we anxious anticipation at what my heavenly Father has in store for him. Whatever it is I can be assured he will tend to it with the meticulous measure he was gifted with. Oh what I'd give for just a tad of that gift!!!