Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy 4th birthday, Jack

My dear sweet little Jack.

Your “real” 4th birthday is 2 weeks away, but you’ve been so excited by your birthday party that we’re having it tomorrow. =) For one, you don’t really understand calendars yet...so holding you off just seemed senseless. Secondly, Dad is in Canada fishing and I needed the distraction of your party.

You were so cute creating the guest list. This is the first time you’ve been able to really take part in the plans. You were going through the kids you know, and decided that one boy was “too young” and “threw sand in the sandbox,” and another boy “thinks all my toys are his.” So we pared it down to the kids you wanted most, and invited them over for a party. Luckily, they were kids of some of my favorite moms. =) So it will be fun for me too.

You wanted a slumber party for awhile, where you watched movies and ate popcorn. The idea of a bunch of 4 year olds sleeping over seemed a bit overwhelming to me, so we negotiated and decided on a pirate party. We went to a pirate festival a few weekends ago, and there was a treasure hunt in the sand. All the bigger kids pillaged all the treats, so you didn’t get anything. To make up for it, I bought these cheap little “gold” nuggets and coins and we buried them in your new sandbox that Dad and Grandpa Mike made for you and Andrew.

We also got you a piñata, per your request. Since you can’t do sugar cane at this point, I filled it with cheap little trinkets: little telescopes, pirate stickers, sword pens, and little pirate duckies. And I got little wooden pirate ships for the kids to paint. You also wanted bandanas, little hooks, and eye patches for all your friends. I’ll make balloon swords for everyone to sword fight in the backyard. =)

For weeks, you’ve been planning your cake. You wanted the treasure chest cake in my book, and I did research to get recipes that was hypoallergenic for you. I’m not quite sure how well it will go tomorrow morning putting the pieces together, but I’m excited to try. I have no idea how to decorate it without sugar cane candy, but maybe you won’t care if it looks like a treasure chest.

Today I was beyond exhausted. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get through the day. I’m about 5 weeks away from having Simone, and the pregnancy is really hitting me hard with the tiredness in this last week. With Dad gone, I’m really struggling. Trying to get ready for your party and baking the cake today were almost unbearably exhausting. Then, as I was tucking you into bed, you said: “Thanks for planning another birthday party for me, Mommy.” You said it with such a sincere spirit...so much true appreciation and love....that it re-framed the entire day. All the effort and exhaustion just melted away, and I was so happy to be giving you and your little friends a special day. You truly are a special, special boy.

It’s hard to believe that you’re turning 4. I know that’s so young and so tiny in the scheme of life...but you’re getting SO big and capable. I can’t believe all the things you can do. I get these moments of panic at how quickly things are moving along, and that your childhood is just sweeping past at lightening speed. You were just born! Staring at that tiny little person in the baby incubator in the hospital. I was looking at the curly haired picture of you and me in Holland, when you were just under 2, and can’t believe how little and sweet you look. It’s going so quickly.

We love you so much, little Jack. The sweet little things you do, like when your brand-new Transformer toy broke right away. Your expressive face looking up at me and saying, “Was this made in CHINA?!” When we couldn’t find the probiotics you’d taken out of the freezer and you started crying. I’d told you before that they help Simone grow strong, so you told me: “You know why I was crying? I was afraid we were never going to find them, and Simone would stop moving.” It broke my heart that you were carrying that weight in your little heart. You have such a kind, loving spirit. You give my belly hugs and talk to Simone like you already know her. Andrew does too, and has the same affection for his little unborn sister. Both of you have the most magical, sweet little souls. I love how you two play – how much love and adoration passes between you. And then someone gets an eye poked and everyone starts crying, but you both mean well. ;)

Happy early birthday, little guy. You are so loved and we are so honored to be your parents.

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