Caleb was the fifth kid to be born into my family.  He is lovingly dubbed "The Forgotten Heidel."  I suppose that in a big family it's just inevitable; at one point or another, someone gets overlooked.  Unfortunately, that someone is always Caleb.  He's the one people forget to set a place for when they have our family over.  We actually almost left him in the mountains of West Virginia one summer after family vacation.  We checked out of the hotel, packed ten people's luggage into two cars, and began the three-hour drive home.  We were a couple of miles down the road when one of the kids remembered they'd left a pair of shoes behind.  We turned around, and as we pulled back onto the grounds of the hotel we were greeted by the sight of a weeping, sweaty, terrified Caleb running across the lawn crying, "DON'T LEAVE ME!  DON'T LEAVE ME!"  The really terrible part of this story is that we only went back to the hotel to get a pair of forgotten shoes, not because anyone had noticed there was a child missing...

(I predict that he'll one day get his vengeance on us all by becoming rich and famous.  And he'll probably become President, too.)

When Caleb was a toddler he learned his colors from "Thomas the Tank Engine" characters.  For instance, green was "Henry," black was "Diesel," and red was "James."  Tomato soup even came to be known in our house as "James soup."  He eventually learned to identify colors the way the rest of the world does, and is now a really remarkable artist. 

Toddler Caleb also provided constant background noise in the form of a long, high wail on a pitch only dogs could hear.  "Iiiiiii Waaaaaant aaaaaa Driiiiiiiiiiiink!"  "Iiiiiiiii Waaaaaaaaant Moooooooore Ceeeeeeereaaaaallll!" This lung power has matured and been channeled toward more artistic ends; he now tours with an excellent choir and has started introducing more music into family gatherings.  If we're not touring a la the Von Traps in a few years, it won't be Caleb's fault.

The Forgotten Heidel is really surprisingly unlike the rest of us, in good ways.  He has traits that seem to have skipped the rest of us, or that were developed in us a lot later in life.  He is extremely hard-working, self-disciplined, and invests a great deal of care and prayer into his friendships.  I marvel at the mutual love and discipleship present in his friendships with other young men; he walks alongside them through the challenges of being a young adult, challenging them and himself to live with integrity.  He starts every day steeped in Scripture and prayer so that he has a "full cup" from which to pour into others.  I can see that his friends sense the special wisdom and grace in Caleb; he is a mediator in conflict, a prayer warrior in trouble, and a key contributor of joy in celebrations.  I can't imagine there being another 20-year-old boy with such a golden heart, and it is an honor to have him as a brother. 


carrie said…
how much do I love reading these everyday? a whole whole lot.

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