Three years Old Today – A Letter To My Little Man

Jacob,

Today is your third birthday. You are up north with Uncle John and Aunt Kate right now; you’ve been away from us for almost a week now, while Mommy was sick and now that I’m feeling better, I just want to get to you and hold you. I miss you so much; your little voice telling me you love me and your little hand rubbing my hair and my arm. I miss watching you sleep and listening to you snore and talk to me in your sleep.

You came into our lives 2 weeks early b/c your head was so big. It still is big, but it’s gorgeous. The first time I saw you, I was blown away by how gorgeous you were, even as a newborn all scrunched, angry (and boy were you angry about all the noise and light and cold). The meds that were used to keep my numb while they were delivering you seemed to be affecting my hands and arms and when I tried to touch your face, it was more like a clubbing motion. It’s one of those moments that makes me want to both laugh and cry at the same time. I felt so bad, but I needed to touch you. The first time I got to actually hold you changed my life completely and forever. You became a part of me in a way that I didn’t even know was possible.

Taking you home from the hospital was a great day. My biggest memory of that day, oddly enough, is stopping on the way home from the hospital at the toy store so that we could pick up a swing for you – one of the best things I’ve ever bought- man you loved that swing!! The first few weeks at home were great. We were such a happily little insulated family. Your Nana stayed with us for your first 6 weeks and that was stressful but wonderful.

When you were six weeks old, I hurt myself and it changed our lives for a long time. I couldn’t do anything really for almost a year and a half, so we had to have a nanny to take care of you. I’m afraid that you thought she was your mother when you were really small. That broke my heart and I didn’t react well, I’m afraid. I kind of got locked inside myself and gave in to the depression for too long. Thank God for your Daddy and for your Nan; they were really there for you when I couldn’t be. Those are dark days for me; days that I don’t like to think about b/c I missed so much time that I can never get back. I don’t have those baby memories that most mothers have and that breaks my heart every day and probably always will. Our two years in Lake City, while not great for me, were good times for you. You spent so much time running and playing and doing things that most boys don’t get to do. Your favorite things were tractors, snow mobiles and ATVs before you were even a year old. Power tools and extreme riding equipment has always been a part of your life and as much as it scares me, I’m afraid it always will be. You learned to walk, talk, eat, laugh and almost every other basic skill in that little cabin on 20 acres. It wasn’t the right place for us, though, Mommy just couldn’t seem to get past all the moments that were sad for me.

So we picked up and moved back to Kalamazoo, where Daddy works. This is where you were conceived, born and spent the first 3 months of your life. This is the place where I think I’ve spent the happiest years of my life. I miss the little apartment where we conceived you and brought you home. Our new house, though, is great for you. You love that we have stairs now and you can run up and down them all the time. You love having a backyard with a garden to “help” Daddy with and your sandpile and buckets that you need to “help” water the garden or the lawn. 🙂

Your personality is definitely starting to develop more and more. You show empathy and such a sweet sense of not wanting anyone to be upset. “Don’t swy (cry) Mommy” you say any time I am upset or even when I yawn a few times and have tears running down my face. Anytime anyone gets hurt you want to kiss the boo boo for them. When I’m sick you come up to me and pat my shoulder, telling me, “It be okay Mommy”. Last week, Daddy was sick and every time he coughed, you ran to the steps and yelled “Are you okay,” down to him. You have a truly good soul and I’m so proud of that in you.

You’ve also got a mind of your own. You want what you want when you want and how you want. You mean now! Patience is something we’re still working on and I know you’ll get it. Just not yet. Which is fine. How long do we really have in life when we are young enough to be able to be an almost completely selfish creature without it being a bad thing? Not many. Those days are slowly coming to an end for you, so I’m trying not to rush you. There are times, though, when that mind of your own makes me want to tear my hair out. Then I remind myself that that mind of your own will serve you well later in life. You are not going to be a follower. There is so much leader in you.

You’ve been asking about a baby sister or brother on occasion lately when we see a baby. That’s something I’m really hoping to give you soon.

This month your Unkie’s cat had kittens. Man, you love those things. I was really worried that you weren’t going to be able to be understand how to be gentle with them, especially with the way you’re so playful with the older animals. You really blew me away, though.  You are so sweet and gentle with the baby kittens.  You kiss them gently and tell them you love them; you pet them like they are made of glass.  I’d really like to be able to give you one of those kittens for your very own, but now isn’t a good time for a new animal.  We will get you a kitten or a puppy when you’re just a little bit older.

We’re planning a special Mommy, Daddy,  Jacob only party when we’re back here on Thursday.  I’m going to order a cake and get gifts and hats, bubbles, balloons…all your favorite things and we’re going to have a great time!!

I love you so much, Jacob.  You are truly a gift to your father and me.  My wish for you is that you keep growing and getting stronger and smarter and that you stay just as sweet, thoughtful and loving as you are right now.  My promise to you is that I’ll give you the environment where you can flourish and where you are free to be whoever you turn out to be.

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