On September 11th, it will be four years since we were in the hospital waitingforRyder to meet us all. And while the first year seemed that it would never end, these past few have passed so very quickly.
Where does the time go? ....But in this case, I know the answer to that:
To late nights and early mornings. To nursing and to first foods. To diaper changes and big boy underwear.To bedtime stories and to crackers and honey just before bed. To kissing hurt knees and sticky faces. To looking for Ws and to learning how to read. To playing with ToffeeToffeeYay! and to listening to Galbert (the stuffed llama) talk to us in his own voice. To Bible class and to making sure we have short hair so we won't get stuck in a tree. To play dough and cooking basanga. To baseball games and to many sword fights. To Santa Claus and to birthday cakes. To boat rides and to collecting chicken eggs. To visits to Granny's house to play with the ugly doll, to MaMaws house with the M&M cycle, and to Granny Bill's house to have crackers. To riding bikes and to sidewalk chalk Ws. To egg hunts with Camden and Carter to learning to share with Camden and Carter. To walks with Aprilia to commanding Rico to "Fooey." To answering many, many "Why"s and "What is..."s." To tickles and to wrestling and to hide and seek. To swimming and to climbing and to like sand. To prayers and to songs and to Bible verses. To becoming Batman, and RDtootieDtootie or to becoming Robin and Captain America. To horse shows and kayak watching. To visiting old friends and to making new friends. To rocking and to big boy beds. To pizza and to garden tomatoes. To the Portertown Gang and to practicing new manners. To arm hugs and to belly kisses. To reading books to a wiggly toddler in our laps to reading books to a wiggly big boy in our laps. To eating noises and to steeting (which is still a mystery to everyone but Ryder.) To dressing up and to making shields. To a most beautiful child who fills each day with fun and wonder. To new joys and to unexpected happinesses.
To waiting for Ryder.
And I am most blessed by where our time has gone.
Happy 4th birthday, Ryder!
(Bottom Photo: Ryder with his Captain America shield made by his Daddy. Photo by Skelton Photography.)
I could easily convince myself that I'm the best cook ever. It wouldn't be hard. I would probably have to ignore that I generally burn the bread, that I rarely try new recipes, and that baby food got the same response that my gourmet meals do, but I'm pretty good at ignoring such trivial matters when I want to imagine myself a master chef...chefess?....hmmm...culinary genius.
At our house, we take eating seriously. Anyone who knows Cody, knows this. Meals are eaten at the table. (primarily...partly because I like the image of the family eating at the table...and partly because I'm too clumsy to handle a plate elsewhere.) I have probably dirtied more dishes than the dishwasher can hold in the cooking process, and I could very likely have fed several more people after we are finished (depending on the status of our dieting or failure to be dieting). So after the meal is prepared, the table is set, drinks are fixed, and we are finally all seated at the table, and Cody or Ryder (or Batman, Robin, Captain America, Guy from Swords, ect.) blesses the meal, and we begin to eat, and that is when my justification for thinking I am a wonderful meal preparer is evident. So whether this meal originated in Papa Bear and Gigis garden, or with Papa John, I know that I have fixed the best meal ever because the entire time Ryder eats, he ... hums?....sings?.....growls?......chews with the addition of an mmMMmmmMmm sound that we now refer to as his "eating noise."
Since his first can of pureed Gerber sweet potatoes, Ryder has swallowed food and hummed in unison. We moved to Cleveland just before he turned a year old, and for a few weeks, we thought he had left his eating noise in Columbia, but then one day there was food...and there was sound...and the eating noise has been with us ever since (except when he would eat snacks during worship services, of course.) As he's gotten older, we've noticed that on special random occasions, the eating noise will take the form of a familiar tune, such as "Hey, Soul Sister," or more commonly a nursery rhyme or a hymn. And the better the food is, the louder the sound, which is only to be expected :)
And since it is such a part of our meals, we forget about it, and have become oblivious to it. There have been a couple of situations where we have eaten with people new(ish) to Ryder, and we have been reminded that not everyone is used to a kid who hums while he eats. Our friend Johnny was eating with us, and he was concerned that he was hearing things since we were all talking and eating like nothing unusual was happening...because for us nothing unusual WAS happening since Ryder was humming as he ate his food. And Kyle and Kellee's niece, Hayley asked us if the eating noise ever stopped. I'm pretty sure it will have to stop if Ryder ever will have any hopes of impressing a girl :)
For the longest time, I didn't know if Ryder even realized he made an eating noise or if he realized that he was the ONLY ONE who made an eating noise. But a few months, he randomly tells me that he has a new eating noise. So, he goes from never discussing his eating noise, as he called it, to having a NEW one???(Luckily, the sound he made that he said was his new eating noise didn't stick...it was something between a hiccup and a cough and a gurgle that I'm pretty sure would be an impossible sound to make while eating without getting choked). And when Camden and Carter stay with Ryder, they will sometimes join Ryder in his eating noise song, or have very intellectual conversations about who makes eating noises and who doesn't. And I love that at this moment in his life, there is only acceptance between these beautiful little boys.
And although there are no real developments in the eating noise recently, it has gained a companion: the vacuuming noise. Ryder's chores includes using a little sweeper vac to clean the living room hardwood floor and the kitchen floor. And because the vacuum itself is apparently not loud enough on its own, Ryder joins it in making a vacuuming noise whenever he vacuums. And apparently the vacuum is not the only musical appliance in the house because he was very excited to tell me the other day that the "washer-disher (the washing machine) makes a light-saver song!!!"
One day, we will sit down at the table and eat without an eating noise. That is almost hard to imagine. And sometimes I do think we might need to work on eating without an eating noise, but for now....it is just. so. RYDER. And I love sharing a table with my cape adorned superhero beside a few invisible friends, eating noise in the background, and a moment in our lives to share with a little boy who is completely, happily, and so very wonderfully himself. So for now, we'll just be waitingforRyder to stop the eating noises on his own...and until then...I can just go on thinking that I'm pretty much the best cook ever :)
(Photo: So, since I didn't have a noisy photo, I used this one because: 1... Ryder is gorgeous, and 2...by the look of his face, I'm sure there was eating noises prior to this photo being taken at Granny Bill's birthday party last year :)