November 2, 2007

Dear Jack, Month 5

Dear Jackson,

You are five months old today. This means that after this month, I'll have to hold up two hands when trying to communicate how many months old you are without using words. Gosh, you are SO MUCH WORK!

Speaking of work, you started solid foods this month. I was hoping to make it all the way to 6 months before beginning this new stage, but you wouldn’t wait. The doctor agreed that you were ready. After all, you are more than TWENTY POUNDS! You share a birthday with a baby we met yesterday. That baby is 13 lbs. Sometimes I wish you stop growing so quickly! I just want to enjoy “baby Jack” for as long as possible. I have a feeling that solid food is the first of many things for which I will not be ready.

Remember this summer when I was worried you weren’t getting enough tummy time? I was so silly. You love tummy time now! The only problem is that you won’t stay where I put you! You like to scoot yourself right off the mat and my fear is that you’ll end up with a mouthful of dog hair on the days that I don’t vacuum six times. Last week, I caught you pushing yourself up onto your hands and knees. You kind of looked down at your hands and then looked and me and lunged forward so that you were on your belly again. I said, “boom!” and you laughed like it was the BEST GAME EVER!

We LOVE to hear you laugh. We will do almost anything to make you laugh. Not almost. We will do anything to make you laugh. There are multiple video clips of your hysterics that I can’t show anyone because your dad sounds like a complete fool in them. You, on the other hand, think that he’s the funniest person alive. It’s so annoying that you think he’s funnier than I am. Just wait until you’re 16. You’ll think I’m funny then.

My favorite new thing you’ve begun doing this month is reaching for us when you want us to pick you up. Or if someone else is holding you, sometimes you’ll reach out so that you can come back to your dad or me. My heart melts every time you do this, Jack. Especially when I snatch you up and you wrap your arms around my neck cuddle your face against my shoulder.

Jackson, you need to know that I love to buy you things! When I go into stores, I always bypass everything else and head straight to the baby section. I love finding cool toys and books for you. I have to allow at least 10 minutes while I’m grocery shopping to peruse the baby section.

You need to know this because I remember when I was younger thinking that my mom and dad wouldn't buy me things because they didn't want to. I remember thinking that they denied me what I wanted so that they could spend the money on the all of things that THEY wanted . . . you know, like food and health insurance and a roof over my head. They were like that.

The bad news is that I can't afford to buy you everything that I want to buy for you. Or maybe that’s the good news. I’m not sure. Because even if we were independently wealthy, we wouldn’t buy you everything that you want. Your dad and I want to raise to be someone who understands that stuff isn’t the most important part of life. We want you to become the kind of person who loves to give what he has away. I don’t mean to say that all material possessions are bad . . . I just want you to know where they should fall in your list of priorities. I’m 29 years old and I’m still learning what this means.

I began to worry this week that you had forgotten how to roll over because you hadn’t done it in so long. What I realized last night is that you’ll roll over, but only when I cheer wildly after you’ve done so. You’ll flip from your stomach to your back and look at me as if to say, “Come on, mom! Did you not you just see what I did?!” As soon as my applause dies down, you’ll flip from your back to your stomach and we’ll do the whole thing again.

Your dad and I will always be your biggest fans, Jack.



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