My sweet boy turned four years old recently and I really can’t believe how much he’s grown this past year. I think he’s around the 70th percentile for height and weight, and Ken and I call him our little muscle man because he can climb up onto anything (trees, fences, walls) and lift his entire body weight with his arms. He loves helping Daddy with his building projects. He can out-eat his sisters at meal times, and is typically up with the sun, eager to get going on playing with his dinosaurs, creating forts with his sisters and reading together.
We celebrated Cyrus at my family’s farm with a rich, moist homemade chocolate cake that was allergy-friendly and shaped like a giant, smiling T-rex. Our whole menu centered around foods that Cyrus could enjoy. An allergy-friendly Hawaiian feast! I made two types of fried chicken, Hawaiian-style mochiko chicken (battered in rice flour) and buttermilk ranch chicken, two cakes – one chocolate on chocolate and the other apple-banana with chocolate, fresh broccoli-cranberry salad and kale salad, potato salad, and cut up chunks of fresh sunrise papaya and Maui gold pineapple. Really, if you wake up at 4 a.m. and start prepping and cooking for a lunchtime party, the sky’s the limit with what you can make! 😉
If I were to describe Cyrus in one word these past four years, it would be:
Ok, that was three words, but really, Cyrus has been such a joy to me. Even from birth, he was calm and curious, always wanting to play with his big sister and the most ticklish child I know! He has such a fun sense of humor and can talk at length about what he thinks Heaven will be like, and how he cannot wait to ask God why he killed all the dinosaurs?!
Looking back over these past few years, I find myself surprised by joy. Surprised by how God has poured out His great love and healing balm over the wounds in my heart regarding Cyrus’s many health issues and struggles since the first few months of his life. I look back and I’m not immediately gripped by grief or fear, I don’t instinctively start weeping, like I did the first two to three years of Cy’s life when talking about his severe food allergies and restrictions, his many allergic reactions, his time confined to the hospital, without me to comfort him.
Yes, I do still cry when I think of how much pain and confusion this little boy’s body has felt when it’s reacted to a food it couldn’t process. And I might still weep when I read or hear about the struggles of other children with food allergies whose pain touches on my own. It is such a hard road to travel. But my grief, for the most part, no longer consumes me. It’s something I name, I recognize, and I move through as best I can – each day is such a gift, and as a mom of a child with health issues, I’m acutely aware of life’s fragility.
Thank you, Jesus, for the gift of Cyrus!
Here are some sweet photos from his little party. xx