Saturday, October 13, 2012

Dear Jake (Happy Birthday Letter)

This is Jakey's birthday letter! Happy Birthday baby boy!

Dear Jake,

I can't believe how big you are! I know I will keep saying that for years, even until you're bigger than me, but 7 years old just seems so grown up already. I always tell you I wish I could just freeze you and keep you this big forever, but you just keep having birthdays and getting older and older! This year you are about two inches taller and ten pounds heavier than your sister, but there is never a doubt about who the oldest is. She will always consider you her baby brother, even though you will always be bigger than her!

When I was in the hospital having you, Eisley came out screaming and I just waited for you to come right on out after her. You took your sweet time and did NOT want to leave! I think you enjoyed those 40 minutes all to yourself, and it took all we had to drag you out! When you did come out, you didn't cry, you just moaned, and the nurses said you looked like a tiny cherub and were the cutest baby boy they had ever seen. You have been a little lady killer from the beginning! I remember the nurses laughing and saying, "Ohhh! That poor little guy! He has footprints on his back and a black eye from his big sister!" You were so pitiful looking and for the first four weeks of your life I swear you moaned constantly from getting so beat up inside mommy! All you ever wanted was to be swaddled up and snuggled, and I remember thinking I better enjoy it while it lasted because one day you wouldn't even fit in my lap anymore. That time has officially come and it's all I can do to get a hug from you sometimes! Though that part makes me sad, I am so thankful God has let you grow up so big and tall and have so many birthdays with me. I sometimes hear mommies say they wish their babies would never grow up, and I understand how they feel, but after I had your baby sister Lily, I appreciated so much more getting to watch you grow up and have so many birthdays.

This year you are having a shark birthday party. You decided that during one of your favorite times of year, Shark Week! You absolutely love to learn about sharks and all kinds of other creatures God created. You always surprise me with the little facts you know, and sometimes when you aren't looking I google them just to see if you're right, and you always are! You tell us you want to be a science teacher like your dad, or a professional football player. The other day you asked me if I would wait and have Christmas and Thanksgiving for you when you got back from traveling, because football players always have to play on those holidays. :) You are already great at sports, and your daddy and I may not tell you this for fear of ruining you, but we pretty much breathed a huge sigh of relief when we realized you loved sports and showed some potential in that area! We love to watch you play and try so hard! You have always had to work harder than your sister at a lot of things like reading and memorizing things, but when we get you outdoors, you are the pro! You pick things up so quickly and aren't afraid to try anything, like riding a two-wheeler and doing crazy tricks off the diving board. Eisley is always one or two steps behind you, but you are so patient and encouraging with her, and I know you will be a great daddy and coach someday!

These are some of your favorite things right (you have the most amazing little voice! Don't tell your dad but I think you have a future in music little man!)...riding your bike...swimming...making people laugh...The Avengers...Star Wars...playing with games, video games, video games...throwing the football with your dad and papa and uncles and making them teach you new plays...the Cardinals...drawing super heroes...making your sister (you can bait your own hook, cast it, reel it in, and take the fish off without any help at all! I can't even do that!)...asking questions I don't know how to answer...legos...getting chased by girls (even though you say you hate it)...learning about Bible stories...

Since the moment you were born, you have been mommy's tender-hearted little guy. You are so extremely tough when it comes to getting hurt or knocked around outside, but you have the most sensitive heart. You have moments when something will happen like you'll get embarrassed or someone will hurt your feelings and I can tell you are trying so hard not to cry. You open your mouth really wide and blink your eyes a hundred times to try and keep the tears from coming. Those moments all I want to do is scoop you up and hold you! I am having to learn to let go a little bit and let you hurt without embarrassing you more by planting a big kiss on your cheek in front of everyone, and that is not easy for me! I will always want to hold you when you're sad, and right now I cherish the moments you let me do that.

You are famous with my friends for your hilarious "Jake-isms". The things that come out of your mouth sometimes are so incredibly funny, there has never been a single day I've spent with you when you haven't made me crack up about something! You love making people laugh, and one day you are going to make such a wonderful husband because you are such a sweetheart with a wonderful sense of humor (though I plan to love you so much that no woman will ever be good enough for you!). Your dad makes me laugh all the time, even when I don't want to, and trust me, it is a skill set that can't be taught, so I am glad you were born with it!

These are some of my favorite moments with you...the rare times when you let me lay down in your bed and snuggle with you and you sing me songs with your amazing little voice...watching you play with your dad and seeing how hard you try to impress him and make him proud of you...hearing your one of a kind, wish I could bottle it up belly giggle from the other room, especially when that's the sound I wake up to in the morning...watching you teach your sister something like how to beat a level on a video game or how she can be better at riding her bike...when you ask me ridiculously hard questions that no child should challenge their parents with so early on...listening to you spout off facts about nature or animals that I'm pretty sure most adults don't know...when you have out of the blue moments of missing your baby sister and ask to see pictures of her, and we sit together and cry and talk about how we wish she hadn't died...when you talk, about anything, ever, because you have the cutest little voice and way of saying words that I just can't even stand...when you pray and tell Jesus "I hope Lily and Gwace and the othoo baby aw havin' fun up thewe"...when you randomly walk up to me and touch my belly and whisper " still alive in thewe'? This is yo bwuthoo Jake."...when your hair is getting too long and I can wrap my finger around and around the curl in the back (which we affectionately refer to as the rat tail) while you're sleeping...watching you play action figures with your sister's dollhouse so you can play together...anytime you're asleep, because you look like an angel and are so quiet and adorable...when you smile so big that your dimples show...when you let me smother you with kisses on those chunky cheeks!

I know there are times when you don't feel as smart as your sister, or you think she is way ahead of you because she does something first like lose a tooth or read a chapter book all by herself. Let me tell you something. I grew up feeling like that because my sister was older and better at a lot of things like school and being good. But you know what? God gave me talents that He didn't give my sister, and God gave you talents that He didn't give your sister too. You let her be good at what she's good at, and you be proud of her for those things, because she is so proud of you for the things you are better than her at. He made you two to be a perfect pair, that's what twins are! He gives extra talents to each of you, because together you're pretty much unstoppable! You are a team, and you are better together, so don't ever forget that you're supposed to be good at different stuff, because God wanted you to stick together in life and help each other out! She will always need you to be her protector, that's why He made you stronger and faster and tougher than her. And you will always need her to help you figure things out and think things through. You are so lucky to have a twin sister that will always be there for you, and my prayer is that neither of you ever take for granted what a gift you are to each other.

There are so many unknowns about what you will grow up to be! We will be surprised at the path you take because you have so many options with the talents and passions God has given you. But there are some things that will not be a surprise to me, things I know will happen if God blesses you with a very long will be a wonderful friend, you will break hearts, you will be incredibly good looking, you will take care of your sister and probably get in trouble more than once for beating up any boy who hurts her, you will light up every room you walk in, you will do wonderful things for your Lord, you will make my heart stop a hundred times when you do something dangerous like go off a ramp with your bike or get tackled in a football game, you will cause your dad and I to ask "What were you thinking?" more times than we'd like to, you will make us so, so, so very proud of you that our friends will want to stuff a sock in our mouths for how much we brag about you.

I love you more than you will ever understand or be capable of grasping. You are such a huge blessing to our family, and I am so thankful for each day God has allowed me to have with you. Happy 7th birthday Jakey Robert! Your daddy and I are so proud of you!



Our poor beat up little guy!

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