Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Jack Of My Heart

Jacko, you are my second child, my second son and today is your 10th birthday and you have been the secret to much of my motherhood happiness. Every child brings their own gifts and from you I was able to let go of the fear and the worry and enjoy the miracle of pregnancy. I was able to understand that a little crying is ok, that a bottle on the floor does not need to be sterilized and that 3 is just as good a year to potty train as 2.

You have given me perspective and took from me the Lady MacBeth-ness of mothering... Jake surely would be in active therapy right now had you not come along a mere 16 months into his life and, with your arrival, relaxed the cleanliness standards... we went from a house of air purifiers and Dreft to a house of many dogs and whatever detergent is on sale in record time.

When you were born, the doctor handed you to me, all swaddled up like a wee burrito and you and I were together, on the gurney for hours... we had echocardiograms done at the same time and really, who can't call that bonding?

You were such a mellow baby... we have photos of you tucked in the couch which used to sit on the Jacobs' patio... we'd sort of wedge you in between the cushions while the older boys played and Cindy and I drank vats of iced tea and sometimes wine...

Although you don't remember your surgery, or the time surrounding it, it was a time that changed my life... the night before I slept with you in the crib in the hospital and the nurse said, "I have never seen a mother sleep in the crib" and I was like, "You have got to be kidding? Where the hell else would I be?" And, when Daddy and I carried you down to the operating room, all wrapped in that ridiculous blanket from Barney's and had to hand you over to the scrub nurse, I thought my heart would break... but I had every faith that you would be ok... I loved you too much for you not to be.

My first choice was to curl myself up into a ball and hide under a counter in the OR, but that was an idea quickly vetoed by Dad, so instead, I went back to the hotel and fell into a protective sleep until the phone rang to tell us that you had done wonderfully and we could come see you... when we walked in, and there you were, spread like a little chicken on an adult size bed, hooked up to no less than 8 machines, we both began to cry because you were alive and beautiful and healthy.

And here we are, 10 years later and I can't believe how quickly time passes... your childhood has been such a blessing in my life and I don't know how to say to you all the things I want to... I am so proud of the person you are... not just because you are a good student and kind, but because I admire your approach to life and your independence... you definitely march to your own drummer and I wish I had a little bit more of that in me.

I love that you watch bad 80's TV with me, that you admire Monk and that you sort of like stuffed animals more than real ones... I love that still like to sit with me and cuddle on the couch and I love that you decided you wanted to play tennis even though neither your dad nor I have ever picked up a racquet.

I love what good friends you and Jake are and it's been interesting to watch you begin to assert yourself against your big brother... the times they are a changing around here.

I love that you have found that you enjoy your sister and she's no longer public enemy number one... in fact, last week when you told Jake that Eva's cuteness was "Your ticket to getting dates to the Middle School Dance", just about killed me... it was a classic Jack line.

I love that you used to make mazes from books for those manky pet mice of ours to run through and I love that you don't care that you're short(ish).

It's such a privilege to watch you grow up.

I love everything about you. Even your big circle.

You gave me a voice and made me a warrior and helped define what kind of mother I wanted to be... and when I look at you today, 10 and happy, with a lifetime of experience and happiness to be had, I am so so grateful.

I am so grateful to be your Mom.

I love you Goblos, you with your orange shirts, I love you.


**oops!  looks like comments were off, but they're back on & i know jack would love to read some birthday wishes, thanks!


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you turned your comments on because I want to curse you for the tears first thing in the morning!

Happy Birthday, Jack!


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Jack! Hope you have an awesome day! We're looking forward to seeing you in Hawaii this summer. (Can't wait to bon dance!)


Aunty Lisa and Uncle Ed

Hippo Brigade said...

awww! That was so sweet! He is so loved. Happy Birthday, Jack.

Ava's family said...

Happy B-day Jack!! Welcome to the double digits! =)

Karen and Bob said...

OMG...you made me cry! You certainly have a way with words.

Happy Birthday Jack..you are one handsome young man!

jennster said...

first of all, HE IS GORGEOUS! like child model, gorgeous.

second.. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! welcome to your first of MANY double digit birthdays!

third... tell him to walk around telling people he's 2 whole hands. LOL

Kayce said...

Happy Birthday Jack!

CDJ said...

Holy crap, Kristen! What are you doing to me!?! I'm sitting here bawling and my family thinks I just came downstairs to enter my Weight Watchers points! Who gets teary-eyed over that? This was a beautiful post and a wonderful tribute to what sounds like pretty awesome son! Happy Birthday Jack!! (Be nice to your sister!)

Shelley said...

Happy birthday Jack!

We think you're pretty darned cool too!


The Magers

Shelley said...

And you Ms. K ...have reduced me to snot and tears. :D

Shelley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa said...

Aw! Happy Birthday Jack. Hope it turns out to be a very fun, wonderful year for you.

That is a great photo. You're a handsome dude!

Ninotchka said...

Gorgeous tribute. (I thought I was the only one who climbed into her kids' crib -- tee hee -- good to be petite at those times)

Happy Birthday, Jack! 10 is big and I hope you're celebrating BIG. All of you. And, well, never stop celebrating because you have a blessed life with a rockin' Mom, a family who adores you and the world is absolutely your oyster. Many hugs to you all.

Gracencameronsmomy said...

happy,happy birthday!!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday,Jack! ! I hope we all get to see you this summer!Happy B-day,

Your (kinda) cousins Emily, Katherine and Johnathan

Jodi said...

Beatiful post for a even more beautiful boy!!!

dgm said...

I'm a little late to the party, but Happy Birthday Jack! Your mom beams when she speaks of you! Please forgive her for trying to set you up on a blind date with my daughter--she only wants the best for you.

'kmum said...

Happy Birthday Jack!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Jack! You sound like one special kid.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jack-Happy Birthday from your cousins Emily, Katherine, Johnathan, and Peter

Sarah O. said...

What a lovely post. What a gorgeous boy. What a good mom.

Chrissie said...

What a cutie :-)

Happy Birthday, Jack!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

This was wonderful to read, and your son is a beautiful boy.

Happy Jack's birthday to both of you!

Tara said...

I just stumbled across your blog doing a random search, but I wanted to tell you how absolutely lovely this post is...and let you know how much I love that there are Mamas like you in the universe. Shine on, bright spirit!