August 3, 2008

Dear Jack, Month 14

Dear Jack,

During Family Camp, we left you in the nursery to play with kids your own age. We were excited to see how you'd do, but since you were just getting over being sick, you were clingy and cried every time we left you. It was worth the tears that came with leaving you to see the look on your face when we returned. Upon seeing us, you would turn and wave to everyone and say "bu-bye, bu-bye." Then you turned back toward us and ran into our arms while giggles escaped from the overflow of your excitement to see us. It was, by far, the best part of my day.

Things aren't always as perfect as those moments, though. A week or two ago, we were standing outside and you looked at me and pouted. I looked down at you and said, perhaps a little too harshly, "Get that grumpy look off your face." Your eyes got wide and your lip started going in and out. You were slowly blinking and were breathing heavily. I realized that you were trying to keep your composure. You were trying so hard to not cry. I had hurt your feelings.

I wasn't trying to scold you, I was trying to be playful and to make you laugh, but it came across much differently. It broke my heart to know that I had hurt you and though it will probably happen again, I'll never do it on purpose.

Hurt feelings are not fun, but they're a part of life here on earth. The truth is that the closer you allow yourself to come to people, the more risk there is that you might get hurt. There might be times in your life that you wonder if it's worth it, but I assure you that it is. Relationship comes with both risk and reward.

Tonight I gave you your usual bedtime snack of graham crackers and milk, and you tossed it to the floor and pointed to the kitchen counter where I had a slice of pizza that I was going to reheat. This is not good. I didn't realize until now how much I enjoyed the total oblivion you had to the difference between what I'm eating and what you're eating. We've noticed that you've had your eye on our Doritos and corndogs as you're putting broccoli and carrots into your mouth, but now you're taking action. I guess something will to have to change, huh?

You love to sit on things. Not staying seated, necessarily, but the act of sitting on things. You bend over, with your bum in the air, and just start backing up until you hit your desired target . . . whether it be my lap, a chair or Murphy. You also love to climb things . . . stairs, on and off of couches and beds, playscapes. Because of this, the rate of injury in our house has skyrocketed.

Perhaps the most significant change this month has come over the last week or two. You try and repeat most of the things that we say. It's so much fun and you delight in being able to make the sounds that we make. Your vocabulary (literally) expands daily.

Aunt Kristen came over this month to do a practice assessment of you for her job. She played games and did activities to see how well you're developing. She confirmed what we already knew . . . you're a very smart boy. While your dad and I are so proud of your capabilities, we want you to know that we don't love you because of them. We love you because you are our son. We love you because . . . well, because we don't know how to not love you. We love you when you're behaving and when you're misbehaving. We love you when you succeed and when you fail. Our love is never based on what you do or how you preform. We just love you because you're you.

And don't worry . . . we'll always be here remind you in case you ever forget.



Xander said...

Once Alex realized we were eating something different than he was, and he began demanding to have it too, I started planning healthier meals for me and Steve. I guess we've been eating junk for 6 years?

Anonymous said...

I love reading these monthly posts for Jack. You'll love them even more, too, when your baby gets older and you can look back on what he was like!

Love the jumping in bed pic, too!