Thursday, May 28, 2009

10 Years Ago....THE BEST DAY OF 1999!!!!

On May 28th, 1999....NPayne and I welcomed our 2nd child into this world. Our one and only prince lent to us by Our Heavenly Father. Our lives would, once again, be forever changed. There would be challenges and struggles which we never envisioned, but there would also be so much love and gratitude that I can't possibly ever explain it. Callahan Leigh Payne was born at 12:30 pm weighing in at 9 pounds 13 ounces with a HUGE head.....believe me I know! I remember the first time I saw him, I said..."He looks like he's 3 months old!" And he did! He was a beautiful Irish looking boy that stole my heart forever. I never knew how one child and his differences, his special needs, could make my heart swell with so many different emotions. I never expected to long for so much from him and to be rewarded so extremely by his mere presence. Callahan was a planned pregnancy, and I was so excited when I discovered I was pregnant. I remember having Addi call and leave a message for her daddy.....she was 18 months old. I said, "Hi Honey, Addi wants to tell you something..." Then she said, "We're getting a baby!" I had to prompt her by holding up a baby doll, but she said it right on que. From the beginning of my pregnancy, I just assumed that Cal was a girl(because we just don't have a lot of boys in our family)....even though I felt completely different with him in my belly than I did with Addi. I was so sick and plain exhausted while pregnant with Addi, but with Cal....not so much....I actually felt great....besides being HUGE! I mean huge, you know the kind of huge where people ask you if you're having twins? You know the kind of huge, where people say "Wow You're So BIG" when you tell them you're not due for 2 more months? That kind of huge. I never took offense to it and was every so proud of my HUGE belly, because I LOVED being pregnant! He was my hardest delivery, because he was....well....HUGE; and I had him a la natural....that was by choice! Let me tell you it was HARD....but I pushed through it....LITERALLY (geez I crack myself up sometimes); because I knew what I was going to receive was completely worth it....And it was! Through everything he is worth it!

I love how my baby boy was so attached to his much so that when we finally weaned him from it....he would suck his tongue when he got tired (he still does that today)! We would leave 6 or 7 binkies in his crib at night, so that when he woke up and couldn't find one....there was always another right there for back up. He was the only one of our five to use a binky, and boy was he attached!!!
I love that my boy was a pure buttercup.....I called him "MY HUNK OF LOVE"! I love how fat he was, and that he weighed 30 pounds by the time he was one....YES one! Of course he still weighed 30 pounds at two, three and four as well! He's finally almost up to 60 pounds now, and he's nearly ten!
I love how he LOVED his stuffed alligator, that we named Zack!

I love how he has always looked like his daddy!

I love his soulful eyes and how they sparkle!!!
I love that when he smiles....his whole face smiles. I love his hearty giggle!
I love that he was tow headed just like I was when I was a little girl.
I love that he is a gentle soul and a perfect brother in a house full of sisters!
I love the little man that he is growing into, and I love the fact that he is finally realizing what it means when I tell him I LOVE HIM!
I love how protective he is of Elliot, and how she is the only one in the whole house who he will willingly kiss with his lips! I love how he likes to make silly faces at her, just so he can hear her giggle. I love how he will say, "Oh Elliot, Are you okay?" when he sees that she's sad.

I love how he will play with Bryna and invite her into very "unchartered territory" of his very organized room which is completely full of trains and tracks. Cal is VERY particular about his stuff....especially his trains and how they are all set up just so. When he invites her into play with him, it's glorious. I love how he will tickle her feet, because he loves to make her giggle. I love to hear him say her name...."BRYNA MAE!"
I love how he depends on Drew and knows how he can trust her to look out for him, and I love how he looks out for her too. I love that because of Cal's differences, she is a much more accepting and nurturing little girl. I love how Drew explained having a brother with autism when she was recently asked by another child...."Is it weird?"....and she answered with,"No, his brain just works differently than ours! He's a nice brother!" I love how she looks out for him, and he knows....really knows....that she loves him!
I love how Addison has always been able to persuade Cal to do things that I couldn't without a battle...brush his hair, brush his teeth to name a few. I love that he constantly tells Addison things that he finds fascinating...."Addi, I saw the train crossing the tracks while we were driving to Walmart!" "Addi, I saw the trash truck picking up the trash!" I love that she always acknowledges and answers his statement even if he has said it 10 times. I love that she has always been at school with Cal....until this year, and that she was always able to calm him if he needed calming. I love that she never minded being called out of class when he needed her, and I love that he knew she was always there for him. I love that she has researched autism, written about it, held fundraisers for a cure....all for the love of her brother. I love that Cal would rather sit on the swing with Addi or ride his bike with Addi than do just about anything else. I love that he will let her tuck him in at night! He trusts her!
I love that he desires his quiet time and really loves being alone but is learning to enjoy time with his whole family!

I love that he is fascinated by any sort of transportation and the joy he gets out of watching something doing its intended job or purpose....a mailman bringing the mail, a trash truck picking up trash, a train hauling passengers. I love that he was made the official "attendance clerk" at his school this year, because they knew how much pleasure he gets out of picking up and delivering "mail". I love that he will excitedly shout...."DELIVERY" when he sees a brown UPS truck, or shout "TRUCKS CARRY CARS" when he sees a truck hauling cars.

I love that he gets the most pleasure out of simple things, and how he enjoys a simple life. I love that he LOVES the ocean and would gladly go there every day if possible. I love that he loves sitting outside and just watching cars go by, and I love that he swings endlessly on our homemade tree swing. I love that he still has one training wheel on his bike....even though he doesn't need it....because he has figured out how to use it like a kickstand when he is just sitting on it.

I love that he can play the piano fairly well and has never had a lesson. I love that he has the best memory of anyone I know and can look at a calendar once and know what day a particular date fell on a year before. I love that he can create all sorts of cool stuff using things we have at home. I love that he doesn't understand peer pressure, and I love that he doesn't care what people might be because he doesn't know any different, but it's a good thing to not feel the pressure to be something you aren't. I love that he refers to himself as "Callahan" when he's telling you something he did. I love that he often speaks with a British accent for no apparent reason other than he wants to. I love that he is the KING of Sound Effects....I mean really, you need a sound effect; call Callahan!

Cal has a wonderful and very individual relationship with all of his sisters. I think he sees Christ often in the actions of his sisters towards him. I don't know if he knows who God is. I don't know if he understands the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. I would simply say that I would guess he doesn't. I do know that Callahan will go to heaven thanks to the Grace of our God!

Cal loves his daddy. He is his happiest when he is with his daddy. It doesn't matter what they are doing as long as they are doing it together. NPayne is the best daddy in the world for Cal. When Cal was born, we never imagined that he would have Fragile X and Autism. I'll be completely honest. It's not what you envision when you have a child, it's not what you wish for him. But NPayne often reminds me that it could have been worse......and he is so right....there are so many other people who face much sadder, more challenging and just indescribably hard situations. NPayne and Cal....they are a match made in heaven. God has a plan.....I believe that NPayne was in training all of his life to be a father to a special needs child, because he was not always accepted by his peers, he was often an outcast, he had a hard childhood, he was often bullied and teased because of extenuating circumstances. NPayne's father died when he was a baby, so he grew up without a father; a father he always longed for. And although he never knew what it was like to have a dad, he knew what it was like to NOT have a dad.

I love what I have learned by being his mother....Don't take anything for granted. Be grateful for what you have. Enjoy the simple things. Unconditional love. The grace of God. The pleasure of watching my girls love their brother, and the pleasure of watching my boy love his sisters. I still struggle with the guilt of passing along Fragile X to my boy, but I can say without one doubt.....that I have NEVER EVER EVER regretted birthing him. The challenges we have faced have been tough....some much more so than others, but the rewards....the blessings we have received outweigh the challenges 100 fold. As far as my son goes, I have experienced heartbreak several times....times where I felt like my heart was literally broken in tiny pieces....when he was initially diagnosed, when he has been physically bullied, when he has been uncertain and has had a meltdown where I was unable to help him calm down, when he has been teased, when adults have said hurtful things; BUT I have also experienced great joy....when he kissed me on the lips (he was prompted but he did it), when he wrote his name for the first time, when he didn't wipe my kiss off his cheek, when we successfully went to a restaurant that was not part of his routine, when he wrote "I LOVE YOU MOM" on a piece of notebook paper, when he holds my hand, when he smiles at me, when he joins us at the dinner table, when he stopped sleeping with his shoes on, when he happily goes to school, when he started to make friends, when he calls the maintenance man at our church, Juan, "Grandpa". Every night Cal follows a very strict routine for entails of many things that have to be accomplished before he will actually get in his's the exact same routine every night. Once he's in his bed, he will say the following prayer....
"Dear God,
Thank you for this day,
Thank you for our Family and Friends,
Thank you for our Teachers,
Thank you for Jesus,
God has a plan....we don't always know what it is, but it will be revealed! I know that Cal was part of God's plan for this family....that I know without a doubt....and for that part of His plan, I am so extremely grateful! We love you Cal! We love seeing you grow! We love seeing you learn! We love seeing you try new things! We love learning from you! We love that you are our son and brother! So to honor Cal on his birthday and to continue on to Cal's bedtime prayer....we would lovingly say, " Dear God,Thank you for Cal!"


Alicia said...

Oh, Lorie...that was just beautiful!!!!!

I love how you described his relationship with each of his sisters, and how much he loves his daddy!!!!!!!

He does have the gentlest eyes!!!!!!

Happy Birthday, big boy!!!!!!!!

Following Him said...

Tears of happiness and joy are streaming down my face & I am so blessed to be able to have Cal in & around my life. I LOVE his smile...I LOVE when he says HI to me & I LOVE him! He is such a sweet guy and has come a long way! Yes he still struggles, but who doesn't? Yes he struggles with life a bit more but he overcomes hurdles like no other.
Now I know who to ask about trains :)

Carpoolqueen said...