I cannot believe you are eight years old. It feels like just yesterday you were turning two and we were sending your binkies off into the sky!! You were such a sweet little buddy back then, with such a tender heart and the best giggle in the world! You still are a sweet little buddy, but you try to hide it behind a goofy, tough, cool kid now. ;) You still have a tender heart, and I have watched that grow into empathy for others, a sensitive spirit, and fiercely loyal attitude. You also still have the world's best laugh, though it's gotten a bit deeper and less giggly over the years!
You have shot up in height this year and now have a good three inches on your sister, which you are quite proud of. This year your reading "clicked", and since then, you've been reading everything in sight. You love to read things that make you laugh and adventures that "make you nervous". You have started writing your own comic book, and I can honestly say it is the most entertaining thing I have ever read!!! You have a hilarious imagination and way of putting things. You've also shown quite a talent for drawing, which goes nicely in your comic books. ;)
This year you played on your first basketball team, and although you say you like football better, you showed a real talent for it and we hope you continue to play! Your dad tells you over and over that you may not have the most talent for a sport, but you have a great attitude and willingness to learn, which makes you a "coach's dream". You work harder than any other player and take direction well, and we hope that sticks with you! I love to watch you play, and I looooove to see that embarrassed smile creep up on your lips when I cheer a little too loudly for your liking. ;)
I think the most important thing that happened to you this year is that you became a Big Brother!!! Not only did you become a big brother, but you got to name him! I remember how it happened. You were walking through the dining room and you said you came up with a name for the baby if it was a boy. You rattled off a ridiculously long name consisting of about seventeen names, and somewhere in there you stuck "Jones". Your dad and I looked at each other and said, "That's actually a pretty cool name!" I think even you were a little bit shocked that we actually named him that, and I can tell you're pretty stinkin' proud of yourself for coming up with it!
You are such an amazing big brother. No one can make Jones laugh like you can. When it has been awhile since you've held him, you tell me that you and Jones need some "Bro time", and you pick him up, take him away, and play with him or read to him or just hold him and try to make him laugh. You took losing your baby sister harder than even Eisley, and to this day you still have moments when I find you crying and holding your "Lilysaurus" and you tell me that you miss her. I know that losing her made you love and appreciate Jones so much more, and I know he can feel how much you adore him. I can't even begin to imagine how Jones is going to idolize you as you both get older. That is going to be a very big responsibility for you, always having someone watching you and wanting to be just like you. Try to remember how very much he loves you, and be very careful where you step, because Jones will be right behind you.
This year, I am praying that God brings you good friends, ones who are kind and make good choices and are nice to your sister (but not too nice...). ;) I am praying that you will gain confidence in the strengths God has given you, and not worry so much if Eisley is better at something. I am praying that God continues to become more and more real to you as you learn more about His Word and what it says. I am praying for your safety every day. I am praying God will help us be exactly who you need us to be. I am praying that you will make good choices.
I love you so much Jake Robert. You are my comic relief. You are the most caring little boy I know. You are a goofball. You are amazing. Your daddy and I are so proud of you, and so thankful the Lord blessed us with you eight years ago.
Happy Birthday Jakey!