November 5, 2008

Dear Jack, Month 17

Dear Jack,

Socks. Poopy. Diaper. Cup. Waffle. Stop. Oatmeal. Football. Baseball. Basketball. Volleyball. Hot. Ball. Uh oh. Book. Murphy. Mommy. Daddy. Grandma. Grandpa. Emma. Nose. Ear. Eye. Eyebrow. Teeth. Fish. Dog. Bath. Shhhh. Shoe. Brush. Bu-bye. Tractor. Car. Choo choo. Truck. Duck. Dance. Downstairs. Up. Stroller. More. Thank you. Please. Flower. Tree. Computer. Hat. Keys. Zipper. Phone. Yeah. Jack. Yes. No. Juice. Cookie. Jacket. Jeff. TV. Baby. Cheese. Trash. Stuck. Deer Geese. Bible. Cheerio. Plane. Yummy. Button. Swing.

Your dad and I made a list of the words that you say, and this is it. Not the words that you'll repeat, or the words that you know. As of two weeks ago, these were the words that you'll use . . . unprompted. Let's say that we forgot a couple. That makes it about 75. And you probably learned 10 - 15 or so over the last two weeks. That's 90 words.

Of course, many of the words are only discernible by your dad and I, but you're enunciation is improving every day. Talking has kind of been the theme of this month. Well, talking and WAKING UP FIVE OR SIX TIMES A NIGHT BECAUSE OF THE MOLARS WORKING THEIR WAY THROUGH YOUR GUMS. As your talking skills have improved, so has your sense of humor. We catch you walking around with one of our cell phones to your face and pretend-laughing . . . which is far funnier than real laughing. We'll hear you say "grandma" and "tractor" and "bu-bye" and "Murphy" as you have your imaginary conversations. I can't wait until we can have real conversations.

You'll hear me say time and time again that when we leave a place we want to leave it better than it was when we found it. Which means that we might pick up trash we see rolling around in a parking lot or wipe off a wet counter in a public bathroom before we leave. In fact, when I see a piece of trash somewhere or a small mess that can easily be cleaned up, there's a little voice in my head that always says, "Are you just going to pretend you didn't see that?"

As I'm writing your letter, I'm watching coverage the national election for our next president. I voted today and I'm going to be honest with you Jack . . . I left the township offices feeling a little helpless. The fact of the matter is that no matter who wins, we'll have a president with flawed policies and gaping holes in their plans for achieving the ideals set forth by their parties.

But I voted anyway. Partly because everyone told me to. Voting has kind of become a fad. You know . . . the cool thing to do. But it's also a right and a privilege as a citizen of this country. We're afforded many opportunities by the country in which we live. Apathy and indifference toward voting is disrespectful and lacks appreciation for what we've been given. When I'm tempted to feel like my vote doesn't count, there's a little voice inside me head that says, "Are you just going to pretend you don't have an opinion? What if a million people decide not to vote because they don't think their vote will count for much?" We need to do what we can leave this country a better place than when we got here . . . even if it's just in a small way.

Tonight, when I put you to bed, we prayed. You folded your hands and shoved your forearms up over your eyes. I started praying and at the end I said, "We love you, Jesus." And you repeated after me. You said Jesus so clearly and it was a such a blessing to hear you pray out loud with me. I don't know the right words for you at this age to explain who Jesus is, or how much God loves you, but I try. And somehow, I know that you understand it in a way that only a child can. Sometimes, I think you understand better than I do.

I love you so much.



Bruce and Lynn Jarrett said...

Jack, you are growing up soooo fast! Love the pictures!

Karin Schueller said...

This was an amazing post to read. Thank you so much for sharing this time with the rest of us. :)