Poor Children with December Birthdays

 My parents had eleven children and four of them were born in December. That's more than 1/3 of their children. I always felt a little bad for my brothers and sisters who were born during that busy month.

But not bad enough to plan my family accordingly. I had four children and two of them have December birthdays--that's HALF MY CHILDREN born in the busiest month of the year.

I'm not trying to make excuses for myself or give myself a pass on my enormous oversight. I'm groveling here and offering my deepest apologies, because although we celebrated their birthdays in real life, I didn't celebrate them here. On my blog. And the sad thing is that I didn't even realize it until today. January 22. One month after my daughter's birthday.

So as part of my repentance process, I'm going to wish my two wonderful December children a happy belated birthday and let you know a few of the reasons they mean the world to me.
Bruce turned twenty years old on December 13. He celebrated his birthday on an island halfway around the world. A kind woman who was learning the gospel at the time did what I'd have done if we were together--took him to a wonderful dinner. I'm grateful to her for taking care of him.

Bruce was that oldest child everyone hopes for--bright, funny, talented and good.

We share many of the same interests--basketball, beautiful houses and buildings, crime dramas, and a few HGTV shows. When we bought our current house, it was an unfinished foreclosure. The kitchen's houseplans weren't great. They were for a family who clearly eats out more than they eat in. That isn't us, so Bruce took the space and re-designed the kitchen. And we love it! It's one of the best things about our house.

Bruce can sit down and doodle the most clever pictures. He's been the cause of a little too much inappropriate laughter over the years as he doodles ridiculous and hysterical things at church and then passes them down the row. We have much less temptation now at church.

When Bruce was in elementary school, I was told by his teachers that he was a brilliant kid. But the thing that made me have to swallow a lump in my throat at parent teacher conferences was that they always said he helped those that were struggling and included those that felt left out. They could always count on him. That meant even more than academic acclaim.

Bruce was so ready for kindergarten. I remember taking him that first day and standing at the door while he walked in. He looked back, smiled and waved, and then got down to business. He didn't look back at me again. He had things to do. I stood there and wished for him to give me one more wave, one more smile. He was supposed to be sad to leave me, right? I was choking back tears and he wasn't even looking at me.

When we dropped him off at the MTC, we experienced much the same thing. He turned to us, smiled and waved and then headed for a new world of experiences. He did turn around one more time with a second wave, but that was it. And once again, I was left to dry my tears and hope for the best. And thankfully, he loves it more than we could have hoped.

Happy birthday, Bruce. I love you and I miss you.
Savannah is is my 14 year-old ray of sunshine. Sometimes she seems like the whole ball of sun. Few can laugh like she can and when she gets the giggles, it's a full-on, tears-streaming-down-the-face, loss of control. It's hard not to laugh whenever she finds something funny.

When I was a teenager, I saw the movie "Savannah Smiles" and fell in love with the energetic, pretty little girl. That Savannah had loads of personality, an infectious smile and a generous heart that made me cry the first time I saw it and still makes me weep whenever I watch it. I knew that someday I wanted to name a daughter Savannah.

Boy, did we ever name our Savannah right. I could say so many things about her sweet personality, her gorgeous smile, and her charitable heart. She's always willing to give others the benefit of the doubt. She's kind. She's thoughtful.

In the movie, there's a song that perfectly fits my sweet Savannah. As far as I'm concerned, it could have been written for the real-life Savannah that came to our family on December 22, fourteen years ago. Happy birthday and I love you.


Tawnie said...

So sweet. I love your kids. John has always reminded us of Bruce and we see that as an honor. Love you all. A lot!

missy said...

They sound like great kids! And they are lucky to have you for a mom!

Savannah Smiles is the saddest show ever! It breaks my heart just thinking about it.

I wish I could see your kitchen. :)

Karey said...

Savannah Smiles is definitely one of those movies that breaks your heart open--in good and bad ways. I love it but even after all these years, I still can't watch it without crying my eyes out.

Time to Blog It Up! said...

Great post, that is so my family. We have 4 birthday's in December. Lionel's, TJ's, Steph's and also my little Granddaughter...it is a busy month! What were we thinking! Sounds like Elder is White is doing a fantastic job and loving him mission.
Ahhh we use to watch that movie all the time when the kids were little, I need to pull that one out again.
Thanks for the reminder of a wonderful movie. Have a great day.
(okay so I thought I posted this once but maybe I did something wrong so if you get a double sorry)

Lolawid said...

I can feel your pain. My b-day is Christmas Eve, and that is just about the worse time for a birthday. I always swore I would never have a child with a December birthday. Well... out of my 5 children, the only one that we "planned" has her birthday in guess what month? Yeah, December. Of course, when we planned her, I didn't stop to think what month she would be born. I am glad, though, that I have someone else to share my pain. :o)

Rebecca said...

I love having a December birthday. And mine is the same day as Bruce's birthday! :)

Kristi said...

Happy birthday Bruce and Savannah. They deserve tributes, even if they are little late. Spencer and I noticed that we hadn't been receiving the Bruce letter emails, but I caught up after I rediscovered the blog.
What great kids. We love them.

Torrie said...

So glad that Bruce had someone special to share his birthday with him. I know firsthand that people/experiences like that mean a lot to missionaries.

Happy birthday to your two wonderful children!

Anonymous said...

Great post. I love these kids. they are great. Love the memories and love the movie and love you all. LMH