Big birthday in the Hickey household tomorrow… Caleb turns 18. You can check out his blog to see a few of his comments about what that means he can now do. I bought him a pretty expensive gift with some money that came to me unexpectedly this week (Thanks Billy!).

I have about a dozen different names for each of my kids. My dad called me Bubba, I called him Bud, my brother was Slick. When I was real little I was called Poo Bear, my brother was Rabbits. When Caleb was born my dad offered to buy me a lazy boy recliner if I’d renamed him Thomas – he thought “Caleb” was too trendy. Back then (1990), we never heard of anyone named Caleb (besides the Biblical Caleb). When number two came along, I really wanted the recliner so “Thomas” it was! (that’s how I tell the story when I want a laugh, he’s actually Thomas for other reasons.)

Little Thomas called Caleb… KEE-UB. So we still call Caleb Kee-ub today. Also, Caleb is GongPie. This came to me after seeing a few of his toddler pictures where it looked to me liked he was part Chinese. More often than not Caleb is Buzz – this came from his trademark hairstyle. He also goes by Weezie. Not sure the origin there. All these are great terms of endearment, including Big Dummy and Meathead which we love to call each other after watching reruns of Sanford & Son or All in the Family.

A few years ago the orthodonist called our house to remind Caleb of an appointment the next day and on the answering machine said… “This is a message for KAHLEEB...” So, that stuck and we frequently call him Kahleeb (of course except when we are going through airport security- you know how they perk up when arabic people check in). He’s never been “Cal” which we hoped people wouldn’t shorten his name into. One clueless Cub Scout leader never figured out his name wasn’t Cable. Enough with the names!

The Biblical Caleb was a warrior, not intimated by giants. He stood with God even when it meant standing alone. He didn’t complain or shirk from the task at hand. He stayed faithful during the forty years in the wilderness. The Bible says he was one “with a different spirit.” He didn’t go with the crowd. He possessed the land. Caleb means faithful and loyal. These are all things we’ve watched emerge in our Caleb these last 18 years. These are things we pray for him and love about him.

Happy Birthday Caleb!