August 4, 2010

Dear Jack, Month 38

Dear Jackson,

After dinner one night last week, I was talking to your Dad about how we need to start being really careful what we say around you because you're beginning to repeat a good amount of what you hear. A few minutes later, I heard you playing in the living room singing a little song that went something like this:

"Beeee careful what you sayyyyy around meeeeee. I repeeaaat everything. Everythiiiiiiing!"

Thanks for proving my point so nicely.

July 2010

You don't miss much. Even when we think you're not paying attention, you'll turn around and start asking us questions about our topic of conversation. Sometimes, I'll hear you telling other people about things your Dad and I talked about, and I can't even figure out how you heard it. Nothing gets by you.

For a while, we've been able to use code words to keep you from knowing what we're talking about. But the other night, when I asked your Dad if he wanted to take you to get a "frozen dairy treat" after dinner, I saw your eyes light up immediately and say, "Yay! Ice cream!"

You're totally onto us.

July 2010

In about a month, you start preschool. I didn't think I'd be that parent, but I am . . . I'm totally. freaking. out. I'm not worried about whether or not you're ready. I actually think you were ready last year. And I'm not sure how challenging it will be academically. I mean, come on . . . it's preschool.

The whole reason we're sending you to preschool is so that you have a chance to socialize with kids your own age. At camp, you're around adults constantly. I want you to learn how to make friends.

And therein lies the source of my freak out . . . what if you feel alone? What if the other kids aren't nice to you? What if you get your feelings hurt? Because the truth is that you will feel alone sometimes. And there will be times that other kids are mean. And you will have your feelings hurt sometimes. Not just at preschool, but in life. I'm 32 years old and it still happens to me. But I can't hold you back because of these things. You have to experience these things for yourself and figure out how you're going to handle them. I'm sure I'll be much more at ease when Ben gets to this stage, because I'll have been through it before.

July 2010

But lucky you . . . you're the first. You'll be the one to pave the way. I know firsthand that it's frustrating to always be the first to go through things. Someday, you'll look at your brother and think, "Why can't you do this on your own without my help?! I had to figure it out by myself!" You're the big brother, though, with all of the privileges and responsibilities that come with that title. And I can already tell that you're going to be very good at it.

I love you, Jack.


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