Saturday, January 24, 2009

Dear Jackson,

I just laid your sister down in her crib for the third time tonight, thinking about all of the times that I used to do the same with you. But now, instead of laying my sleeping baby Jackson back down in his bed, I tell a big 3-year-old Jackson to stop kicking the walls and go to sleep (or else).

How did you grow up so fast right before my eyes? A friend once told me that the day to day with your children goes so slow but the big picture flies by so fast. Sometimes, I'm completely bogged down with the details of our days together and get frustrated with you for the smallest little things. And other days I feel like screaming to the world "wait! I'm not ready for him to do (fill in the blank) yet!" You amaze me. Here's why:

• You are bright, smart, funny, a bit quirky, polite and a really, really nice friend.
• You love trains more than you love your parents (almost) and can turn anything into a railroad adventure.
• You used to be a picky eater and drive me crazy with your refusal to eat at most meals, but now it's better: you just eat cottage cheese (and good, homemade oatmeal, peeled apples and yogurt & boy).
• You are the most thoughtful and focused 3-year-old whom I've ever had the pleasure of knowing, and I'm not just saying that 'cause I'm your mom. Lots of other people tell me that too.
• Your dedication to your mission--whatever you decide it to be at the moment--is unrelenting. This trait will, no doubt, serve you well in the future (however maddening it can be for me at times).
• You get the gold star for being a "good listener" even though you're not always acting on what I say. You listen to and observe everything that goes on in this house and don't let your parents get away with anything. (You will most likely be a spelling bee champ for already deciphering our code spelling of words like c-o-o-k-i-e and j-u-i-c-e.)
• You love books almost as much as you love trains and will sit for over an hour listening to long tales that wouldn't hold the interest of children twice your age--and then you'll tell us the entire story two months later in the car on the way to Target.
• Your heart is big. And in it, you keep your sister, your mom, your dad and your cat. You tell us all that you love us a lot and often get into arguments about who loves who more "No I love YOU, Mommy!"
• You are predictable yet you still surprise me daily.
• You love your "stuff" and must have at least two treasures in your hands or pockets at all times.
• You're not ready to give up your Nuk at bedtime yet but that doesn't bother me as much as it bothers your Dad. You have the same crooked baby tooth smile that I did from sucking my thumb at your age.
• You're not ready to use the potty yet either, but you've made it (painfully) clear to me that you will tell me when you're ready (by actually using the words "Mom, I'll tell you when I'm ready"). I'm trusting you on this one, Kid. I'll follow your lead.
• You call me "Mom." I don't know when "Mom" became more popular than "Mommy" but it definitely makes you seem a lot older to me.
• You love to be outside and have been able to walk on your own on our hikes since before you were 2. In fact, you've insisted to walk independently for so long that I can't remember a time when you rode in a stroller. You see a path, and you take it. (There's that dedication again...)

Tomorrow, you will be three years old, but when I ask you for the umpteenth time how old you are, you'll reply "I'm January 25th." You might say you're five if I really press you, but usually, you just don't care about the number age yet. I, on the other hand, can't get over it. You're THREE! My first baby, my favorite boy, my Jackson is three years old. I feel so lucky to be your mom and get a lump in my throat just thinking about your exciting future ahead.

Words cannot begin to describe the depth of my love for you, Kid. And it will never, ever go away.

Love always and forever,




Janet said...

Beautiful words & thoughts...thank you for sharing with us. Happy Birthday Jackson!

Chris said...

Happy birthday, Jackson!

Heide said...

Happy birthday Jackson! Hang in there mom!

Day to Day Tripper said... made me cry. Children are the most amazing gifts of our lives. I love being a mom and I can see you do too. Jackson is a very lucky boy!

Becca said...

Catherine, what a beautiful gift to Jackson and yourself, to sit down and put thoughts to words in celebration of his third birthday. And I can attest to the fact that he was hiking by himself (all the way through the mile-long loop in our woods) before he hit age two! What a wonderful boy with an amazing family. Hope the train birthday was a blast!

Sheila said...

yes, maybe a warning next time to have a tissue box handy! (and it's not just the guilt that i haven't been writing beautiful birthday letters to my kids... :)

Gin said...

i hope jackson's bday was wonderful!! and don't you think it is slightly ironic(and it makes me smile) that jackson is obsessed with trains and you and dan met on a train??