ALERT: Jackspeak

Harry potterThis weekend I found a gem at a local yard sale–a kinda beat-up paperback copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I gave it to Jack. He immediately began reading. After a while, he stopped to note that he'd read 12 pages in only 10 minutes. Not bad for a seven-year old.

Me: "Twelve pages, huh? Pretty good. So, what's happening in the story so far?"

Jack: "Well, I learned something already. I found out that his first name is Harry and his last name is Potter. This whole time, I thought his first name was Harrypotter!"


ALERT: Jackspeak

I love music lessons with my boys. Tonight, while folding laundry, we’re going old school with a little Frampton Comes Alive! (Do You Feel Like We Do?, of course.)

Jack: “Is Peter Frampton dead?”

Me: “No.”

“So, is he really old?”

“Well… he’s older. He’s kind of a rock legend.”

“If he was dead, he’d be a real legend.”

“They have a name for legends who are still living. They call ’em ‘living legends.'”

“And if he was dead, he’d be a dead legend.”



ALERT: Jackspeak

I’ve been away from this space for awhile, busy with a new work-related/writing-related project that I’m excited to share soon. (Not sure I’ve ever mentioned before that I work here. It's way cool.) Haven’t had enough time to share much on the blog, which makes me sad. However, Jack and Charlie certainly haven’t been slacking on the –talks and –speaks. So today, a Jackspeak.

. . . . .

Many already know that we’re a vegetarian family—me for 17 years, Jack and Charlie since birth. But we’ve slowly been taking a turn toward veganism. It’s been a fun experiment, and it’s been an easier switch than either Brett or I thought it would be. (Although I’m still not sure I can forever say goodbye to store-bought birthday cakes or Pizza Hut. We’ll see.)

Anyway, we’ve always talked a lot about where our food comes from. A few nights ago, Jack experienced an a-ha moment.

Jack: “You know, they shouldn’t call them ‘hot dogs.’ They should call them ‘hot pigs.’ Because they’re made from pigs.”

Me: “That does seem to make more sense, doesn’t it?”

“And veggie dogs shouldn’t be called ‘veggie dogs.’ They should be called ‘veggie pigs.’ Not because they’re made out of pigs . . . just because now the pig kind of hot dogs—I mean hot pigs—are called hot pigs. And it would be weird to call them ‘veggie dogs’ if we called the pig kind of hot dogs ‘hot pigs.’

“Makes crystal-clear sense to me, kid.”

crumbs, family, jackspeak

Seven years.

Our Jacky turned seven years old this week.


Fall 2010. The morning after losing the second front tooth.

Boy, have I learned a lot about you this year, Jack. One thing I’ve learned is that, after a full year of first grade behind you—and after a painfully shy babyhood—you are really good in social situations. You excel at making friends. You are friendly, accommodating, polite, and thoughtful. At the family birthday party, you blew out your candles and said your wish out loud. You said, “I wish that my entire family stays healthy.” I saw a few family members’ jaws drop. But not mine. Because at your best, you are selfless.

You’re also a charmer. How do I know this? Because of the stack of love letters you received from—ahem—several girls this past year at school. You’ve told me about the ones you like, and the ones you love. But don’t you worry. I’ll keep your secrets about who is who so you can play the field as long as you need to.

There are also some things that haven’t changed.

You are still… not wearing clothes much. Snow, rain, sunshine—it’s always the same. You enter the house, throw pants, shirt, and shoes in a pile on your bed, and hang out in your undies. I’m still under the impression that you will outgrow this little quirk of yours. I was under that same impression last year. Guess I’ll check back next year.

The paragraph above should explain several upcoming photos.

You are still… creating.

Makingthings1with legos

Makingthings2 paper

Makingthings3 buttons

Makingthings4 wooden tool thingy parts

Makingthings5 and more legos. And tiny ninjas and purple rubber frogs.

You are still… loving dress up.

Costume2One of this year’s favorites for me: the bandana loincloth.
(I’ve got pictures of the back too.)

Costume3 You were very proud of this warrior mask. So innocent. You even taped it to your face! I didn’t have the heart to tell you what it reminded me of. I didn’t want to spoil your fun or choke your creativity. The politics of it are for another time.

Costume-4 Modeling a scuba-diving balloon creation given to you by our neighbor.
(More of Marc’s amazing balloon stuff here.)

Costume1 Sometimes your dress up is a little more realistic than I would like.
Yikes! But that’s the actor in you.

(which leads to)

You are still… acting.

Whether you’re portraying a robotic dinosaur:

a sad little girl from old Russia:

or an old man sneezing…

It’s always entertaining. Bravo.

(Just in case anyone wonders, that’s magic marker on Jack’s chest. It’s an Ironman thing.)

You are still… not swimming.

SwimBut you’re getting braver by the day.

You are still… reading! More than 100 books during the school year. Lots of summer reading too. I’m so very proud that you enjoy it. Chalking that up to me and your dad, reading aloud, reading aloud, and then reading aloud some more. Backs patted.

You are still… loving your brother.




Sleep“Two peas in a pod” never made more sense to me.

* * * * *

I remember when you were a baby, Jacky. That painfully shy babyhood. You were so, so very shy. You held on to me so tightly when we were meeting someone new. So tightly. I didn’t want to force you. So I just squeezed back. I wondered if you would ever gather up the courage to let go.


These days, you’ll still hold my hand. But if there’s someone new to meet, you let go. You let go of my hand to meet them. And that makes me happy.

I’m starting to realize it’s me that needs to gather up the courage to let go.

I promise I’ll work on loosening my grip a bit. If you’ll promise to, if only once in awhile, hold my hand tight. Like now. Hold my hand, bean, and I’ll hold on to yours. Let’s walk together.

Birthday7 Onto year eight.