Today you turn five. I can hardly believe it. Five years ago right now I was sitting in a hospital room, possibly as disoriented as I've ever been in my life. After making it through an exhausting labor and your delivery in the middle of the night, I was already tired and sore...and then the nurse whisked you away because you weren't breathing right, and I spent the rest of your first day unsure of what to do next. Should I go visit you and risk missing my hourly checkups? Did I even have the energy to move? Should I take advantage of the break and try to nap, or work on this blog to share pictures and stories about you with everyone? In the end I didn't make it down to visit you until the early evening (sorry) because I just didn't know what I was allowed to do, but when I got there and saw your little face, I was completely enamored and amazed. Despite your problems, you were so perfect. An awesome little miracle.
After having a "normal" first day (and first week) with Carter, I now know how much I missed out on with you early on. As I said, I hardly saw you that first day, and the first week was one of the most difficult times of my life, shuttling back and forth to the hospital, trying to make sure you were fed, and just managing my exhaustion, fear, and inexperience as a new parent. I think there was so much to deal with that I couldn't just sit back and enjoy it. Those tiny newborn days go so quickly, and spending that time at the hospital just stunk. You were a champ, though, and it made us that much more grateful to bring you home.
Five years later, it turns out that the "not knowing what to do next" thing would be a theme of parenthood. You definitely keep us on our toes and keep us wondering to try next to teach you how to behave. You're...well, difficult. You're also awesome and energetic and passionate about the things you love, but holy cow are you hard to manage sometimes. Listening and obedience are not your strong suits right now. I know a lot of that is just being at the age you're at, but I think so much of it has to do with the fact that when you get into something, you really get into it and it takes a monumental effort to drag you away...which probably looks to us like you're not listening or that you're just being difficult. You are also really into potty talk right now--be it body part/bathroom humor, name calling, or just spewing nonsense that eventually evolves into things you shouldn't be saying. You like to rhyme, for example, and we've had to outlaw the "Banana-Fana" song because you rhyme things you shouldn't. It's great that you like to rhyme, but I just wish you'd use it for good, rather than evil. At some point perhaps we'll laugh about your not-nice rhyming nickname for your brother, but right now it's not very funny.
What I think makes it worse is that we know you're capable of being awesome. Like I said, you're smart, passionate, and sometimes genuinely funny. And then you usually take it too far. But when you don't, you're so much fun to hang out with. You have a big, happy personality, and it bums us out when it takes a nasty turn. If only we could figure out how to make your best side stick around more often.
You ask a million questions and tell countless stories. I don't want to crush your inquisitiveness or your creativity, but man...sometimes we just need a break! You come up with a million excuses to not stay in bed at night, and you are incredibly picky about your clothes. All you want to wear right now are sports shorts, and all of your handsome khaki and plaid shorts sit unused in your drawer. You still love sports, super heroes, Playmobil, and especially Legos. Getting you to keep them picked up is a challenge, but I know you're creative and you've got a whole story laid out in your head, so you hate to pick things up and disturb that. You're also a total daddy's boy and hate to be separated from him.
You've had a very big year. You took your first plane ride (to Atlanta), you did your first real sport (soccer), you became a big brother, and you graduated Pre-K. Next week you'll start tee-ball, and this fall you're headed to Kindergarten and will make your first trip to Disney. You've learned so much this year, from how to color in the lines, to how to write your letters (though we're still perfecting that skill). I know you're super smart, but I know your Kindergarten teacher is going to have a challenge just trying to channel your energy in the right way.
While I wish that I could do a little less yelling these days, I am still so amazed at the little boy you've become. You're a far cry from that little baby, but like I always tell you, you'll always be my baby. Oh, and this is my 1,000th post on this blog! Who knew that this silly little thing I started when you were a mere few months old in my belly would turn into something so big and so vital to my sanity? I'm pretty impressed that I've kept it up this long, and I look forward to the next 1,000 posts! I'm so proud of you and pray that over this next year we'll start to figure some stuff out. There's a whole great world out there just waiting for you, but we need to make sure you're ready for it, and you have a lot to learn! But we love you so much and are so fascinated by the little boy you've become. Hopefully we all have patience with each other and this next year is the best yet. Happy Birthday Jacob! We love you!
Mommy (and Daddy, too!)