Saturday, November 16, 2013

It's Jack's (Non-Existent) Party & I'll Cry if I Want To

Surprise, Jack! You probably never thought you would be spending your sixth birthday in a foreign hotel, away from friends, family and nearly everything and everyone you love, did you? Well, we're even; I never thought I would date your daddy, let alone marry him and traipse willingly across the world with his three children.

But here we are, alive and well. We're in this thing together, buddy. Please don't cry. Oh wait, you're not a moody toddler anymore who does NOT want to practice his Chopin? Thank goodness.

You are decidedly you and no one else. As the lone soul chosen to be your mom, I'm proud of that fact. So to commemorate a mere decade left until you hit the road (probably in Tucker, my 2003 Toyota Corolla), I'm giving the world a slice of Jack, a la mode, along with a smattering of photos of you over the years.

Jack at 6
  • Your best friends are Lucy, Josiah, James, Caleb, Ashley, Daphne and your cousin Josh
  • At school, you are one of the most popular kids. I know this because every time I arrive to pick you up or drop you off, you are swamped by classmates asking you for playdates. Plus, that one girl can't stop kissing you.

  • You are still set on marrying Lucy when you grow up, though you do sometimes express frustration that the law forbids you from marrying Avinly. YOUR SISTER. 
  • You can't pick between the following careers: paleontologist, shark scientist, spy, police officer and jet pilot. In fact, you have considered a combination of the two, like a paleontologist spy, "because you never know when dinosaur bones will move around."
  • You must be nearing a growth spurt, because you can eat like a grown man.

  • You love toys that involve thinking: legos, train tracks, marble towers, etc. If it has a story line, even better.
  • Your view on life frequently cracks us (and Facebook) up. You take things so literally.
  • Sometimes, your vocabulary is a bit larger than it should be. You love identifying synonyms and antonyms, for example, and you are learning all the parts of speech (nouns, verbs, etc.) 
  • Your knowledge of the human body is pretty impressive for a kindergartner. And sorry that you accidentally learned the facts of life from Duck Dynasty. In all honesty, your daddy and I never saw that one coming.
  • You have more than 25 Bible verses memorized perfectly. And dozens more poems and songs.

  • This year, you suddenly started thinking smiling with your mouth closed for photos was cool. Possibly because you have lost four teeth. 
  • You are excellent with small children and babies. Other moms frequently approach me at the playground and tell me how gentle you were with their toddler. Strangely, however, you never want to play or help with Avinly unless a reward is involved.
  • You are starting to get into fashion, choosing your own outfits and buttoning your dress shirts. You have your father's mismatched tastes. But when you look at me, chocolate-brown eyes shining, asking, "Mommy, how do I look?" it's all I can do not to smother you with kisses and say, "Fantastic!" Okay, maybe I do. 

  • You love to be in charge and boss others around, but always with an objective in mind. Therefore, you are perpetually the director and star of every play you put on, the "it" in tag, the head chef in the kid's kitchen and leader of the pack.
  • Imagination is king in your world. You are constantly coming up with poems, songs and stories.
  • Favorite characters: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and all the Marvel Superheroes. Favorite foods: tomatoes, PB&Js, pizza and all fruit and vegetables. Favorite comfort item: your stuffed garage-sale lizard named Lizzie.

  • Your reading has really taken off in the last few months. You were SO proud of yourself upon completing "Hop on Pop" for the first time!
  • You could wrestle and play "Beat Up Time" and "Fire Cannon" with your brother and daddy for hours. 
  • You have a very sensitive heart toward others. It very much bothers you to know that so many children in the world don't have enough food, water, shelter, education, toys and love.
  • Most importantly, though your argumentative, have-to-be-right spirit often drives me BATTY, your heart of "Mommy, please love and affirm me" constantly shines through and melts me every time. Prime example: the other day, in the midst of chaos, you said quietly (then less quietly), "Mommy, I wrote a poem for you." Here it is:

    Sunflowers are yellow
    When they rot, they turn brown
    But no matter what
    I'll never let you down

    I believe you. And that is why I am crying; not because we're in another world, unable to celebrate your special day in our usual themed way. Instead, it's because you -- my first poem -- have moved on to your next line and verse.