January 9, 2017
For the first time in 6 years I missed your birthday letter. Usually they say it is the 2nd child that gets short changed, but this time it was my first born.
Here is the letter that I started back on December 5th….
Happy Birthday!...a little late this year! You turned SIX on Thanksgiving Day this year. What a special day to celebrate something I am truly thankful for…YOU! We were supposed to have your party Sunday, but you were fighting some bug that had your temperature soar off and on for several days. We had to postpone the party to the following week.
You were such a trouper when you found out that your party was going to be postponed. What a big boy you have become! You handle hard situations with so much more grace and understanding now. I am so proud of the big kid that you are becoming.
The day of your rescheduled party turned out to be rainy and cold. Boo! We had to move everything for your “Ninja Turtle” themed party inside. Luckily between the front room and the dining room, you and your friends had plenty of room to run around to ‘fight the bad guys’. We played ‘pin the mask on the turtle’, ‘knock out shredder’, ‘pizza toss’ and ended the night with a silly string fight! Poor Lizzie was fighting a bug that night and had to stay upstairs with Maudy during the party. It was a really fun night with some of your best buddies. A perfect way to celebrate you turning 6!
This has been a big year for you. You started kindergarten at “the big school”. You played a sport (teeball) for the first time. You are learning to read, and I love hearing you sound out words that you see all around you. And I especially love the sweet pictures you draw for me and the little notes you write on them, sounding out words that you don’t know how to spell. You are becoming more self reliant and independent every day. Most of the time that is a really great thing, but there are days when I can’t believe how big you have gotten! And, I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say that it makes my heart hurt more than a little. You are definitely not a toddler anymore. You are more reserved, especially around people you don’t know or see very often. Actually, you are pretty reserved around most people. There are just a chosen few who get to see the true Jacob personality. However, as stingy as you are with your affection to others, you never turn down a chance to snuggle with me, and I am oh-so thankful for that. It makes me feel pretty special that I am still the one you run to when you are feeling upset or get hurt and need a snuggle. And, no matter how big you get, I always want to be that safe place for you.
When I write these letters, I always go back and read previous ones. It amazes me how far you have come. So many letters in the past contained a lot about tantrums and your strong willed nature. You are definitely still strong willed. And every once in a while you throw out a good tantrum just to keep me on my toes (and make me appreciate SO much that we don’t go toe-to-toe on a more regular basis…). But, those moments are not the first that come to mind when I think about you. I think about the sweet kid who has really great manners, says “love you mom” frequently and without prompting, sneaks into his sister’s room for one more hug after she has been tucked in, and a kid who has one of the best laughs, hands down.
I wanted to share a proud-mama moment with you because I don’t think I have it written down anywhere else and I definitely don’t want to forget it. It happened at the end of your last teeball game this fall. Your team had a ritual of racing after, and then dog-piling, your coach after shaking hands with the opposing team. I think this little ritual was a favorite of all the players…that, and the snacks handed out afterwards… As everyone raced across the field after the final game, one of your teammates tripped and fell face first in the dirt. In the sheer excitement of the moment, most of the other players kept running. You were one of the few who stopped. My heart swelled with pride as I watched you bend down and check on him. I heard you ask him if he was ok and then picked up and dusted off his hat. Throughout the season there had been a few times that I was really proud of your character, but mostly things like not fighting over the ball, cheering on your teammates, not getting upset or frustrated if they had to bring the tee out for you…things like that. But NOTHING made me prouder than watching you in that moment of showing compassion for another person.
You have a good heart, Jacob. And I love you.