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.


ALERT: Jackspeak

After weeks of unpredictable weather, we enjoy a dry, sunny day from sunup to sundown. Our family eats posicles on the deck in the backyard, listening to the rushing stream below us and watching the mild winds move the blooming trees above us. 

Jack: “I have to say, nature is even better than I thought. It’s even better than electricity.”


ALERT: Jackspeak

Most people who see me day to day know something's up–I've been wearing a very noticeable black brace for four months now. It's my wrist. My right wrist. Can't open jars of peanut butter. Can't turn on bath water. Can't zip up three-year-old's pants. Can't grate cheese. Can't get any outfit to look good with that black brace. (Not even a black outfit.) What's a mama to do?

Just do what the doctor says, I guess. Surgery is in my near future.

I recently expained the impending procedure to Jack. Incisions, needles, bone scraping, fragment packing, stitches. Sounds a bit horrifying.

Jack: "So, what do our bodies look like on the inside, anyway?"

Me: "Well, there's blood, and veins, and organs, and bones… I guess it's kinda scary in there."

"It's like, we're so pretty on the outside and then we're so yucky on the inside."

"Yeah. Pretty much."

"I'm so happy we're not yucky on the outside too."

"Indeed, bean."


ALERT: Jackspeak

Me: "I need to call my mom."

Jack: "Why?"

"I dunno. I just do. I want to talk to her. I hope when you grow up, you'll still want to call and talk to me."

"I probably will."

"Well, that's good."

"Yeah, but you'll probably be all old. Like, laying down on the couch and, like, you know… just knitting or something."

"You're right. I probably will."


"But will you still call me?"

"Yeah, I'll still call."