For those of you who have been following along for awhile, I need to tell you something incredible that happened this month. Jack turned five years old. FIVE. YEARS. OLD. I am officially the mama of a five year old. I'm feeling quite proud.
Jack, you have grown so much this past year. In shoe and shirt sizes, yes. But also in your mind and in your heart. You have transformed from a pant-leg hugging, bashful soul into a social butterfly who will walk right up to a new person, look them straight in the eye with a smile, and say, "Hi, I'm Jack!"
That's huge. Not even I can do that. And I'm 37.
You are gentle and thoughtful and helpful with Charlie, your little brother. You often introduce him to others by simply saying, "This is my baby." Yes. Just as much as ours, he is yours. And you his.
You have become intensely inquisitive, asking me questions I need to open a dictionary to answer. Being shrouded in the throes of mamahood and babyhood these past few years, I thank you for getting my mind back up on its feet. I've been in a fog. You are making me think again. It's a good thing.
One of my favorite changes in you during the past year? Your facial expressions. Coming from a family of many deaf people (hereditary, on my side), you have effortlessly learned the art of communication through animation. In your hands, in your feet, in your face. You are expressing yourself visually. And it's all quite convincing. You can convey emotions ranging from satisfied to terrified just with a tiny squint or widening of your big blue eyes.
(Oh, and let's not forget that this year Jack learned to cross his eyes. Always used to express excitement. Silly excited. Makes me think we should all cross our eyes when we're excited. Try it sometime. Really. It will take your excitement to a whole new level.)
This year I put together a special birthday party for you, with art as the theme:
There was quite a bit of party preparation on my part:
And then party day came.
I think some people wondered why I went to all the trouble. I mean, I worked on your party for a month. It was a two-hour long party. And I worked on it for a MONTH. Why? Why, mama, why?
I'll tell them why, Jacky. Because you turned FIVE. Because you are wonderful. Because I want you to always remember what it was like to be five. I hope you will always remember.