I’m finding that my days lately require me to keep my planner with me at all times, but maybe everyone already does that? I tend to leave it at home, or lose it all together. Last week was so busy that I also carried around a mini chalkboard that my sister gave me for writing daily to-dos on. That actually really helps because I can write down the most important things going on in a day on it, and it’s right in my face. Of course my kids sneakily add things to it, such as, “Buy ice cream.”
I took Larkspur, Beatrix, Seth, and some friends on a day trip to Richmond last week. It was probably the most fun I’ve had in awhile. We started at the plant sale at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and then visited Hollywood Cemetery. Both are places mentioned in (affiliate link) Remarkable Trees of Virginia, and we had fun hunting down large trees and the graves of some of our presidents. If you are ever in Richmond, Hollywood Cemetery is absolutely beautiful, and definitely worth a stop. I want to go back right now!
We celebrated Gabriel’s fifteenth birthday last week. We lost power during the second half of the day and it was out till almost midnight, but thankfully I had made his traditional cheesecake the day before, and his requested birthday dinner was grilled hamburgers. Our birthday traditions include starting the day with a special breakfast followed by opening gifts. There weren’t many surprises, because I mainly shopped from Gabe’s wishlist. I did buy him a new Bible, maybe not top of the wishlist for a teenage boy, but definitely a surprise! One of his requested items was a new helmet (he buys, repairs, and sells dirt bikes) and I was more than glad to buy him one of those. He also received a camera to attach to his helmet, and he should have a lot of fun with that.
I wish you could have seen him opening his gifts surrounded by his adoring family. Mabel was his “helper” and opened most of the packages. I don’t talk much about adoption, but it’s the most beautiful, precious part of our family. Gabe is such a gift, and I am always marveling at the way God brought us this boy from across the ocean more than nine years ago now. Our family wouldn’t be our family without him. There is no “us” without Gabe.
One of my big fears over the years has been that he will grow up and leave us, and not want to be part of our family anymore. Those fears are unfounded, but I am good at coming up with things to be afraid of. A few weeks ago, Jonny and I were talking about the future, and out of nowhere Gabe told us that he plans to live close to us when he’s an adult. He said that it just seems like a good idea, to stay close to your family. I don’t think he meant for that statement to be a big deal but it made me cry, and put those silly fears to rest. What a miracle it is to love someone into your family and into your heart forever.