Happy fourth birthday, my sweet boy!
You'd been participating in a weekly sports camp at the YMCA, and following instructions within a large group of four-year-olds wasn't exactly your strong suit. You loved when you actually got to play with a soccer ball, but drills? Nah. You'd rather run laps around the other kids or roll around on the floor.
So on the final day of camp, all the families gathered around to watch as each child received a special award. I cringed a little at the thought... what award would you be getting? Most energy? Most distracted? I felt guilty for signing you up too early for this. You just didn't seem ready.
A few awards in, they called your name. "Liam Newby, will you please come up?"
You stepped onto the podium as Lanie followed closely behind and stepped up next to you.
"Liam gets the 'Best Bro Award' because he's such a caring big brother and always wants to include his little sister. Way to go, Liam!"
Tears filled my eyes as you beamed, holding your certificate with one hand and throwing your other arm proudly around Lanie. As your mom, I loved that others recognized one of my very favorite things about you. Something that matters more to me than how well you perform on the sports field. You truly care for and champion others - especially that feisty sister of yours - and my heart swelled at the mention of it.
On your birthday - October 27 - we got to celebrate you. We also celebrated God's faithfulness to us over this past year. As you've neared four years old, you've hit such a sweet spot. You're one smart cookie: you're able to sound out words, memorize your weekly Bible verse with ease, and ask inquisitive questions with surprisingly rich vocabulary. The other day, when I told you the mail hadn't come yet, you responded, "Well, that's unfortunate." Sometimes I call you The Professor because you become so engrossed in one topic and will spend an entire day talking about it. Some days it's bull sharks. Other days it's spoilers. You teach me so much.
You adore your family and love nothing more than for us to all be at home, together. The other night, I asked you to come up with a word that described each of us. You said Mommy was "good," Lanie was "silly," Daddy was "brave," and Liam was "fast." I love that you love us. You tell me often how beautiful I look, and Lanie too. I don't take it for granted for a second that you'd rather be with me on a date to Target than just about anywhere in the world. Stay my best friend forever?
Since day one, I've seen a fiery passion in you that I just adore. Some days, it's pretty challenging. But you're becoming easier to reason with (most times), and less prone to tantrums. When you get excited about something, you get really excited. You love a good dance party in the living room or a sprint around the "loop park" near our house.
You aren't afraid to just be you. You're obsessed with the movie Cars, so much so that you've given all of your closest family and friends "Cars" names. I'm Dinoco, Daddy is Ramone, and Lanie is Chick Hicks. You are, of course, Lightning McQueen. I made you a Lightning McQueen cape with #95 on the back in gold glitter letters and I caught you sleeping in it one time, you love it that much. You wear it out and about and ask members of the public to only call you Lightning, please.
Sweet Liam, I'm beginning to see a tenderness toward your sin and it blesses me. A year ago, if I corrected you, you'd often keep doing exactly what I'd just asked you to stop doing. Now, you often say, "Oh! I'm sorry Mommy," and stop doing whatever it is. I'm seeing Jesus work in your heart, from the deep questions you ask during our nightly Bible time to the way you care for Lanie. I pray this is the year that you begin to know Jesus as the Savior of your soul.
Happy birthday, Liam Worth!
You are my treasure.