February 7, 2010

Dear Jack, Month 32

Dear Jack,

I think it's amusing when people talk about what a "laid back" kid you are because I do not see it that way at all. You are very particular about certain aspects of your life.

Getting dressed has become time consuming, simply because you want to choose what you wear. You have a hand-me-down maroon and gold shirt with a large "12" on the front and I'm fairly certain that if I would allow it, you'd wear it every day. And to bed each night. You like shirts with numbers on them, and when deciding what you want to wear each morning, you will often call the shirts by number. "I will wear number 31, today!"

Some of your shirts are named by the writing on them. For instance, you have your "tournament winner" shirt and your "football champs" shirt. I tried to put you in a plain cream shirt the other day and you threw yourself to the floor in disgust. You did wear it begrudgingly for a few pictures, and for that I am thankful.

Something that mas made this even more challenging is that 3T is a thing of the past, and some of your favorites no longer fit. You just don't care as much as I do when the pants you choose barely cover your calves.

I think part of these tendencies is because you take after me and like to, um, control things. You want to make your own lunch, you want to choose your clothes, you want to pack your backpack. Heaven forbid I give our babysitters their payment instead of giving it to you to give them. You want to do it yourself.

I think the another part is that you have inherited a bit of your dad's, um, let's call it "orderliness." You like to have things just so. I fully expect to someday walk into your room and see all of your shoes neatly lined up against your bedroom wall in a specific order that can be deciphered by only you.

And the last part is probably just your increasing desire to explore the level independence at which you've recently arrived. You can almost dress yourself, but every so often, you do wander out of your room with your head and arms tangled in your shirt or your shoes on the wrong feet. You will attempt to go potty on your own, but you don't always get your pants down on time. Nonetheless, this independence is a good thing.

I might regret writing this, but I feel like we've turned a corner with bedtime. You've started staying in your bed at bedtime and if you do get up at night, it's usually not more than once. The bedtime struggle has been one of the hardest of my 2 1/2 years as a parent and I'm ready for a break.

This isn't to say that you don't look for ways to delay bedtime. You ask for the usual glass of water, dozens of hugs and kisses, two or three stories and several songs. On some nights, when we've made it through all of that, and you're at the bottom of the putting-off-bedtime barrel, you often pull out the question that you know is sure to keep me sitting there next to your bed:

"Mommy, will you talk to me about Jesus?"

And let me tell you what I think, Jack . . . that's just not playing fair. Because you know that I will never say no to that.

So we do . . . we talk about Jesus. You ask lots of questions that I try to answer in a way that you'll understand, without distorting the truth. I pray silently that I won't mess you up when I correct you as you're chattering away about how God lives in outer space. You tell me how much you love Jesus and I wonder how that can be so, when you're too young to really know who He is and then I'm reminded that Jesus transcends age and intellect. It occurs to me as I write this that I don't know what you and your dad talk about when he puts you to bed . . . I guess that's between you and him.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm beginning to like the evenings that I get to put you to bed. It used to be a chore that I dreaded, but now I enjoy it. I'm loving your independance and getting to know more about your personality. . . quirks and all.


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