by Sarah Lu
Today we celebrated Caleb’s Fourth Birthday.
Caleb came to our circle with his special pet Snakey Snake. I kept asking him over and over again what his snake’s name was until he said in an exasperated tone, “It’s Snakey Snake!” Okay. Lesson learned. Some children asked if Snakey Snake was real and Caleb replied that yes he was real, but “he can’t talk.”
Caleb was really interested in performing each aspect of our birthday ritual. Caleb came to us last year a couple of months after his third birthday, and I think he has been waiting a really long time to go through this rite of passage at Tulip Tree. When children celebrate their birthdays here, it is as if they gain more visibility with their friends, by having the spotlight put on them for a morning.
Caleb also brought a special friend with him today, his Deedo. Dee is Caleb’s Godmother, and acts as his grandmother. They have a very special bond and we are also lucky to know this sweet and enthusiastic lady.
As Laura read the birthday wishes from Caleb’s friends, each wish was marked with a “whoa!” or a “OOOO!” or sometimes a gasp. At the end, Caleb exclaimed, “that’s AWESOME!” Caleb’s enthusiasm for each wish was sweet and heartfelt. The sweetness of his heart was also apparent when he was telling us his wish for himself in the coming year. He said “I wish that mommy loves me, and that Deedo loves me, and that Tori loves me.” Pretty simple, and pretty complex. I want to keep listening to this little one’s wish for love this year. If that’s all he wishes for then I am sure we can help him to get more of it here at Tulip Tree, as well as all of the love he receives from his wonderful caregivers.
Caleb’s mommy said that Caleb came out FAST! Which is true to form. Many of his friends wished him race cars and similar wishes. Caleb loves to move and he showed us his super amazing (truly) moves at our dance party after the bday circle.
And outside after feeling a little sad that his mommy and Deedo left, Caleb fell into play with Perry, Linny, Allease and Ujia and was extremely excited to catch his first worm to feed to the chickens.
And to discover a new Teeter totter game with Ujia.
Caleb, since you have come here you have grown in many ways. You are a dear friend to your peers and your teachers. You continue to learn new skills every day. You continue to gain trust in this place and these people, which we know is sometimes hard. You help us to laugh and to move. You help us to remember to dance and sing. You help us to remember to connect. Jana and Deedo and Tori, we are so glad to work with you. You continue to give us the support that we need to work with Caleb and for that we are grateful.
Thank you for being part of this community and for contributing so much to our everyday joys and challenges. We can’t wait to see what happens in the next year. Happy birthday Caleb! We love you!!!