How I remember your father and I promising that we wouldn't add a "y" to your name... you would be, "Jake" only... ha! You were "Boo Boo Chicken" for the first few years of your life and now, to us and most of our family, you are Jakey or Jake-0.
You have been 10 for one whole day now... one whole day. When I think back on the last 10 years, the last decade, I want to cry because there is so much of it that I don't remember. I remember bits and pieces and I see them in my mind like a disjointed slide show... there is no logical sequence... just memories.
10 years ago today I was trying to figure out how to breastfeed and was scared I would either break you or starve you to death.
When Daddy and I brought you home from the hospital we put you, still strapped into your car seat, on the coffee table and wondered what to do... we opted for sitting on the couch and staring and taking turns saying, "He is so beautiful/amazing/wonderful."
I remember how you called firetrucks, "fireshoes" and how you would eat your waffle every morning while watching, "Barney". I remember when your brother was born, only a mere 16 months into your life I was singing the "Pizza" song and thinking about you.
You were the last in our baby group to roll over but the first to walk... you walked at 9 months and all the fussy old ladies told me that you would never be good at sports because you had missed the key hand/eye coordination that crawling taught. If only they could see you catch a wave or ride your skateboard. If only they had been there a couple of weeks ago to see you earn your green belt in karate.
When your were a baby your favorite song was, "You Are My Sunshine" and I would sing it to you over and over... and I would cry whenever I got to the the lyric, "Please don't take my sunshine away"... needless to say I cried a lot.
Your father and I were so excited for you, but we had no idea, not the slightest clue, how your birth, your presence in our life, your very existence, would change us to our core. We were startled by our fierce love for you... shocked at how primal we felt about you. You made us a family and you changed everything.
I love being your mother. I am always so proud to say, "Yes, that's my son." You are braver than I ever was... when I was afraid, I would walk away, when you are afraid you run towards it. You have given me courage.
All the experts have told us how exceptionally smart you are... we knew this without their input. You are smart and handsome and privileged and the world is quite literally yours for the taking...
Yesterday, when you said, "and in 10 more years, I'll be 20!" I had to stop myself from constructing a veal pen and locking you inside.
I love talking with you... we seem to have our best conversations in the car or at the market... isn't that weird? Maybe it is because the rest of our day is always busy and scheduled...
I love when we turn the music up really loudly and pretend to be with the band...
You aren't my baby anymore and that will always make me a little sad... if I could go back in time and spend just one more day with you as a little guy I would... and I would take a thousand photos and I would lock those memories tightly to my heart... but all I can do is look at the young man you are becoming, a child who opens the door for his mother, who can tell a good joke and sticks up for his little brother. A boy who is sensitive to the feelings of others and who is his little sister's hero.
There are so many things to say to you... I want you to know how proud I am of you. I want you to know that I push you because I can see what you are capable of... I want you to know that I see the whole world when I look at you... I want you to know that I am fighting for a better future for you... I want you to know that when I think about how much I love you, I have to push down the emotion because it comes welling up from a place so deep that I feel a roar exploding from my throat... my love for you encompasses everything.
Happy 10th year, Jakey.
I thank God for you everyday.