He made it. This kid was our earliest walker and talker. So many things he has grown and matured into before his time but turning 8, he had to wait just like everybody else.
We started his birthday celebration in August, before we left, when Hyrum and I presented him with his presents from us. One of the social opportunities presented to 8 year old LDS boys is the opportunity to participate in Cub Scouts. His presents this year were his very own Cub Scout uniform with all of the necessary bits and pieces. We'll get his patches sewn on when we get home. He is really excited to be a Cub Scout. We already enjoy working on his Bobcat and Wolf requirements.
On his actual birthday, he picked tacos for dinner, had an adventure with Dad to the British Museum, got a haircut at a "real" barbershop, and enjoyed his chocolate cake from the grocery store. He also got to open up a couple of books and some candy to celebrate. I think he enjoyed his day.
Our celebration continued with his baptism into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 8 years old is the minimum age required for someone to be baptized into our church. Since we were traveling and making arrangements was difficult we weren't able to do the baptism until this past Sunday. We are so grateful for the Bray Branch (small congregation) here in Ireland that helped us have this sacred ordinance. The building we attend church in here doesn't have a font for baptisms so our options were to go to another building or the Irish Sea. While the sea would have made for a good story, it's a bit cold here this time of year so we opted for another church building. We found clothes and the Branch Presidency was so helpful in making arrangements.
Sunday came and Jonathan was ready. He was sober and reserved all day. I think he knew the gravity of the choice he was making. We've spent much of the past year teaching and reminding what baptism means and why we do it. I really believe he gets it. This was his choice for himself and I am so proud of him. Our whole family, sans Ben, participated in giving talks and prayers while Hyrum officiated in the ordinances of baptism and confirmation. We had the Branch presidency with a few of their children and the Relief Society President and her children (our new friends) in attendance with us. It was a small group but there was great love in that room. We are so grateful for the kindness and love we have felt while we have been here from these kind Saints.
It was a special day with a special kid!