"I have come that they might have life and have it to the full..." -John 10:10b

Monday, September 15, 2008

Birthday for Chris

Yesterday afternoon, we attended the 3rd birthday party for Éva's best good friend, Christopher, or Chris as he has recently been referring to himself. It was so much fun! We had Boston's pizza, (best pizza on the island, hands down)a yummy Italian salad made by my friend Kasey (that even Paul, the meat and potatoes guy, loved) and the most decadent strawberry layer cake I've ever had made by my other dear friend, and mother of the birthday boy, Annette. Annette will tell you that she loves to cook but can't bake...don't listen to her! She's amazing.

It was a bittersweet birthday, however. It was most likely the last time that we would be able to see all of the kids (mine, Kasey's and Annette's) play together as Paul and I have recently found out that we will most likely be moving at the end of the month. And seeing as Annette, Sergej and Christopher are leaving today for a family vacation for two weeks, we most likely won't be here when they get back. So although Éva will have a few more opportunities to play with Kasey's kids (Isabelle and Daniel) she won't see Christopher again before we leave.

Because of this, Annette had a wonderful idea to get all of the kids to make T-shirts for one another with all of their hand prints. It was such a good idea and I watched as all of the kids willingly participated in this...all of the kids, except Éva. She would have nothing to do with it. The kid hates to have dirty hands and she took one look at that paint and decided there was no way she was sticking her hand in that. I have to admit, I was a bit frustrated. It was my first taste of wanting something good for her, but not being able to convince her it was a good thing. Part of me wanted to force her little hand, but then the other part of me new that it wouldn't breed the memory we were all looking for. I'm sure I'll struggle with bigger scenarios like this one for a long time to come. So, Éva's hand print is the only one missing (even Izzy got a foot print in there) but we'll try again in a few days and see how it goes.

Other than that, the party was a hit! It was so great to spend some time with Sergej and Annette before it all changes. Being able to live near them has been such a blessing. I've known Sergej since I was 11 years old. He became a staple in our home on Sundays after church and was adopted into our family as a big brother. That's how I've looked at him ever since. The big brother I never had but always wanted. I remember telling kids at school that my big brother had a red sports car(Sergej had a red Honda Prelude)and he let me ride it in all the time! He came into our lives at such an awkward time for me...figuring out boys and just trying to fit in. I struggled badly with a low self esteem, but it always made me feel just a bit more cool when Sergej paid attention to me.

Being able to meet and befriend his beautiful wife with such the gift of hospitality and a true servants heart has been an incredible blessing. Annette is a kindred spirit and countless times we have looked at each other, swearing we were raised by the same people. Watching our kids thoroughly enjoy one another's company and look forward to being together has been an unexpected but very appreciated part of our stay here in Hawaii and I will never forget it. The way Christopher runs out to greet Éva when he sees her getting out of the car for a play date melts my heart and the memory of that will always.

So, as cliche as it might sound to those of you who know this song, it's more than fitting:

"And friends are friends forever
If the lords the lord of them
And a friend will not say never
cause the welcome will not end
Though its hard to let you go
In the fathers hands we know
That a lifetimes not too long to live as friends."

3 comments on "Birthday for Chris"

Jacquie on September 15, 2008 at 2:42 PM said...

Awe, they are so cute all together! :) I'm glad it went well... and that cake looks AMAZING. I know you saved me a piece, right!?! :P

David Reed on September 15, 2008 at 7:10 PM said...

Very sweet post.

Emily said...

Aww, I cant wait for Matthew to have a best good friend! Monty huh?!?! Thats awesome! Whats Paul going to learn this time around?