His birthday is actually tomorrow, the 26th…
Every morning for the last year or more, Jack Henry has joined Matt and me in our bed somewhere in the vicinity of 6am (for a while it was the 5 o’clock hour, which lead me to try this). He snuggles for a while, and then sits and watches the Disney channel while I drift in and out of sleep until 7am. I’ll readily admit that there are days that I’d prefer he slept until 7am so that I can get some real shut-eye without someone constantly rearranging the pillows and blankets. But, my perspective has definitely changed. Because sometimes, when you’re in the thick of a stage that seems never-ending, you forget what you already know: this stage is going to end, too, and then, you’re going to miss it.
So, as you may have guessed, I’ve been enjoying Jack Henry’s morning routine the last few weeks.
The last vestiges of babyhood will disappear this year. While some of that makes me sad, knowing that our last baby is leaving babyhood in the dust, I’m looking forward to what this year brings, too. I hope it brings speech. I hope it brings potty-training. I really, really, do. But I know that it will also bring closer relationships with his big brothers, who still adore him and even though what he mostly does is wreck up their stuff, they still want him to play (sometimes). This year some of that will change, and he’ll be more like one of the boys.
Jack Henry, we love what you’ve brought to our family. While your lack of language is a challenge in many ways, and will continue to be for some time, I’m sure, you’ve certainly taught all of us that you don’t have to have words to communicate. I love how your brothers encourage you, and are even using some of our speech tricks with you, to help you learn new words. You’re teaching me a lot about having faith, having patience, and just enjoying the ride.
Now, since I hope you’ll read this when you’re older, I want to give a good description of what you’re like now. You’re funny, and you like when people laugh with you. You’re still pretty sensitive, and your feelings get hurt when you’re scolded or you feel left out. You know all of your body parts and have for a long time. You love to play with cars, Little People, the Wii with your brothers (one of these days you’re going to be so mad when you discover your remote doesn’t have any batteries in it) and Toy Story figurines. You LOVE to read books and have people sing to you, and you’re starting to fill in a word here and there. You still get excited and squeal every day when Daddy gets home from work. You can catch a ball and love to shoot baskets downstairs. You’re trying to learn how to jump – you practice nearly every day – and just this week you left the ground for the first time (like half an inch) and fell on your bottom. But now you actually do get off the ground for a split second! You love Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Sesame Street, and Toy Story movies.
You’re a picky eater and it drives me crazy, though we’re baby-stepping in the right direction, as you’re starting to at least be curious about what your brothers eat (and, you’re ticked when there’s no dessert for you since you haven’t touched your dinner, and they’re snacking on a few M&Ms or candy corns). You like to get into the pantry when you’re not supposed to. Case in point: earlier this week you showed up in the office with two unwrapped Dum Dum suckers in your hands and a huge smile on your face. You’d eat pretzels all day long if I’d let you, but you also like almost all fruits and cheese and cereal. Despite your frustrating eating habits, though, you’re a BIG boy.
You weigh 30 pounds at 2; your brothers were 30 pounds at 3. You wear a size 8 shoe and have for several weeks now; I know Bennett didn’t wear a size 8 until he was nearly 3. You’re losing your round baby belly a little and starting to stretch out. You’ve been outpacing your brothers’ growth since you were three months old, and it doesn’t look as though that is slowing down any time soon!
We love you, Jack Henry, and look forward to what this next year holds. And as always, we thank God for the incredible blessing you’ve been to our family.