When Cava got the invitation to Levi's birthday party, he reacted to it with the kind of excitement one normally associates with lottery winners. He even hugged me and said, "Papa, I'm soooo happy." Levi is his best friend at church. After getting the invitation, Cava had to look at it again and again and again. He would show it to me repeatedly and let me know when the party was.
Buying a present for Levi was one of the first times that Cava had to go to a store and think about somebody else and he took choosing a gift very seriously. We walked the toy aisles of Target over and over as he weighed all his options and decided on getting a Spiderman action figure and a Super Soaker. Cava also chose the wrapping paper - Spiderman, of course. He proudly took the toys up to the register and told the cashier, "These are for my friend Levi's birthday."
Then the countdown to Levi's birthday began and all of our days were measured by how many there were until the party. When the day finally came, Cava was dressed and ready in his swimsuit (it's a pool party) before anyone else had gotten up. So by the time I got up, Cava greeted me not with his usual, "Good morning, Papa," but with, "Today's Levi's birthday."
It was a 15 minute drive and Cava kept asking me if I was sure we were going the right way and how much longer. He was practically jumping up and down in his car seat when we finally pulled into their driveway. Once we'd parked, Cava bolted out the door and was greeted by Tracy, Levi's dad, who gave him a big hug. Tracy and his wife Rebecca are Cava's Sunday school teachers and we are extremely blessed that they are because not only do they love Cava but Cava loves them and because of them wants to go to Sunday school.
Now Cava has never been swimming and the biggest body of water he's ever been in was our tub, so we were both curious to see how he took to a pool (especially since we are going to the beach soon). Well, I should have known that Cava being Cava, he would not be a dip your toe in the water first sort of guy; in fact, he didn't even test out the water first to see how cold it was. Unlike many children, he didn't enter by the steps, instead he did this:
Twice, after that, he did flips off the diving board.
What amazed me most was how much effort it took him and how little he moved forward with all of that movement through the water. But none of that mattered because of the big smile on his face as he did.
When he got out the first time, I asked him, "Do you like it?"
"Da, I love it."
Along with swimming, he got to try his hand at something else new: paintball. Fortunately, it was more like a shooting gallery at an arcade. Here's Dead-eye Cava at work:
Of course, as much as Cava loves trying new things, he also loves his old favorites and when he saw their swing-set, he just had to climb on their monkey-bars and test out their swings; all of which were to his liking.
When it was time to go, Cava thanked the Philbecks for inviting him and he told me, "I wanna' pool like that in our yard." Apparently sprinklers just don't cut it now. Sadly, our budget and the oak trees around our house don't offer him much promise of getting one.
We were glad that he had an awesome time at his friend Levi's pool party and we thank them for inviting us so that Cava could have a new first time memory.