July 7, 2008

Dear Jack, Month 13

Dear Jackson,

You have discovered the wonderful world of giving "high fives" but you don't really know when to stop. We often remind you that, "high fives are for the hand" so that you will stop randomly hitting those around you. Of course, you also like giving high fives with your feet . . . something that began when I was too tired to stretch my arm all the way to the back seat one hundred thousand times on our drive up north last week. Instead, I'd say "high five on the foot" and you'd tap my palm with your foot and chuckle like I was the funniest. mom. ever. Which we both know that I am.

Vacation with you was quite a bit of work, but was even more fun. Dad and I loved waking up in the same room as you. Most mornings, we woke to see you standing there giggling, with one leg stretched up over the side of the crib as if you were going to climb out. As soon as you'd see that we were awake and catch our eyes, you'd crouch down enough to hide behind the side of your crib and pop up to surprise us. What a great way to start the day.

Bedtime and naps are going a lot more smoothly now that you're a little older. Actually, your naps and bedtimes in the tent went a lot better than I had anticipated, as well. One afternoon, I was putting your swim trunks on and getting you ready for the beach and you just fell asleep in the middle of all of it. When I picked you up to put you in your crib, your eyes opened wide and you looked up at me and shook your head side to side as if to say, "I don't think so." I nodded back. Without making a peep, you shook your head back at me, and I nodded to you, until you fell back to sleep. You're the funniest kid ever.

You've been walking for about 4 months now and you've pretty much got the hang of it. So much so that you now want to climb everything. And I'm not talking about crawling up things . . . you want to climb stairs and climb up onto things like a big boy . . . feet first. I think this began with our trip to the playground in Petoskey. Your climbing makes me nervous, and you'd better believe that your "spotters" are ready every time you start out. You're becoming so independent.

Independence is a good thing, but always remember that your freedom is more important. I know you're too young to understand this now, but I've been thinking a lot lately about how an independent spirit can get in the way of one's freedom. What I mean is that too often, independence is characterized by self-preservation and self-rule which can back us into a corner and keep us from living as freely as God intended. We pray for you every day Jack . . . that as you become less dependent on us, you'll understand that your dependence on God is what frees you.

Speaking of independence, we took you to see fireworks on the Fourth of July when we were in Boyne. I was so excited to see your reaction to them! I had this picture in my mind of the twinkling lights appearing and disappearing while you sat there in awe, basking in the glory of the magnificent pyrotechnics. I love fireworks and I hoped that you would feel the same way.

Not so much. We saw you jump when the first one went off, and about 30 seconds into the show, you were shaking and whimpering in my lap. A minute after that you were wailing. I scooped you up, covered your ears and walked around the park until you fell asleep in my arms. This wasn't exactly how I pictured it, but it ended up being one of my favorite fireworks shows ever. I loved being able to hold you while you slept. This isn't a luxury I'm afforded very often anymore so I soaked up as much as I could.

I had another chance to snuggle with you for a while when we took the boat on Lake Charlevoix from the campground into Boyne City. We rode in the front and I wrapped your towel around your life jacket and cuddled with you to keep you dry, warm and sunburn free. You really liked seeing the waves, getting splashed and watching the nearby boaters get tossed back and forth. I liked having you relax in my arms for a brief time without trying to wiggle away!

It was my favorite part of our entire vacation.


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