Friday, June 17, 2016

Lessons from my Children: Caleb; Have Faith


After Miranda was born so quickly, we expected Caleb to come even more quickly.  The thinking was each baby should be a little quicker, because the birth canal is a little bit more stretched out.  With Caleb that was far from the case.

I was working graveyard at the time.  I thought I would be with Sheri until the baby was born, and then slip over for the rest of my shift at work and then be with Sheri in the morning.  Man was I mistaken.  I had to call explain that I wasn't going to be in at all.  It seemed Caleb didn't want to be born.

We went to the hospital in the afternoon.  Caleb was definitely coming, but he came so slowly.  We went all night and into the next morning and still no Caleb.  Mom’s regular doctor was even able to attend the birth.  (At Valley Medical Center the interns covered the graveyard shift and the regular MD had a regular daytime shift.)  After Caleb was born, we discovered that his arm had entered the birth canal first and was blocking his progression.  We always thought it was his way of saying, “No not yet!  No not yet!”

 However Caleb was born, and there were no complications.  Caleb's lesson for me, was taught when he was very young.

When Caleb was only six or so, he burned his hands over spring break while we were camping.  He was leaning too far forward in a folding lawn chair, it collapsed, and he grabbed the fire ring catching himself.  The fire was enclosed in a metal ring, which had been heated by our fire.  He burned both his hands, one on the palm and the other on the back of the hand.

We were at Big Basin, and he was in a lot of pain on the way to the hospital, about 40 minutes away.  We tried to cool down his hands as best we could, Sheri sitting in the back seat with him as I drove.  We got him to the hospital and he ended up with big bandages on both his hands, and had to go to the wound center for treatments.  He still has some scars, but nothing that affected his ability to use his hands.

Caleb had already been practicing a song to sing in the adult session of conference a day after we were done camping, "I wonder When He Comes Again".  He did a great job.  His hands were bandaged and everything.  After the conference session a woman came to congratulate him.  She did it by grabbing both his hands, ignoring the bandages.  Caleb didn't say anything, but he was in obvious pain.

Caleb has always had a desire to perform.  That same year, Mark, his older brother, was in the High school musical, "The Music Man."  Mark portrayed Winthrop, the boy with the lisp.  Caleb decided he was going to portray the same roll in a play.  I don't know how he did it, but it happens the Middle School did the same musical that year and somehow Caleb, who was a first grader, had the roll of Winthrop for the Middle School Musical.  He was case opposite a young woman, seventh grader, who in the play had a crush on him.  Somehow they made it work.  Jeremy was in the musical as well as a salesman.  I think my other elementary kids were in the musical as well, as townspeople.  Caleb did a great job.  He has friends to this day from that experience.

I don't know how, but my kids have always seemed to get roles in plays at the higher institution with their older siblings.  In similar fashion Caleb was in "Once on an Island" with Mark and all the kids did "Into the Woods" with Mark.

Caleb though has had the most examples of this.  He played Jo Jo in the musical Seussical.  The musical was being presented by a different ward, but they needed someone to play Jo Jo, a male soprano.  Caleb’s voice has already changed, but he still managed to sing all those high notes.

Caleb is now playing with a group of friends in a high school garage band—Hot Spud.  They have written some nice songs and have had some success locally.  However they have plans for a lot more success.

Caleb has sung in the District choir the past two years.  This year he was able to sing a solo.  He believed in himself, and tried out.  And he was awarded the tenor solo.

Just goes to show, if you think it, you can do it.  Like the song they use to sing on PBS every Sunday morning when I was growing up, "If you want it, you can get it.  But to get it, you've got to want it.  Anything you want to try; just spread your wings, fly high!  Or the Jeff Goodrich song, "With God, nothing is impossible; But you must reach and take his hand."

More recently, you should have seen how excited Caleb was with the announcement of the lowered age for missionary services.  He will turn 18 just before graduating, and wants to be headed on his mission as close to then as he can.  He has big dreams, and big plans, and has a way to make his plans come true.  He exemplifies the poem:

Always Have a Dream

Forget about the days when it has been cloudy,
But don’t forget your hours in the sun.
Forget about the times you have been defeated,
But don’t forget the victories that you have won.
Forget about the lessons you can’t change now,
But don’t forget the lessons you have learned.
Forget about the days you have been lonely,
But don’t forget the friendly smiles you have seen.
Forget about the plans that didn’t seem to work out right,
But don’t forget to always have a Dream.

Caleb has been an example of great faith in his life, which has given him opportunities.  If I could have just a particle of the faith Caleb has now, and had as a small child, it would be well with me.  Caleb has taught me to have more faith.

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