Dear Jacob VIII

Dear Jacob,

I didn’t intend to write these letters to you on any sort of schedule.  Yet I just realized that I’ve written you about once a month up until now.  In the past week, though, you achieved some major milestones that I want to record, so I’m writing a bit sooner than you might have expected.

You did an awesome thing this weekend.  At four a.m. Saturday morning, I heard you cry, so I went into your room to feed you, as I’ve been doing every night (with maybe two exceptions) since you were born.  This time, though, I was faced with a very different Jacob: a standing up Jacob!  There you were, both hands on the crib railing, looking over at me, crying—maybe for food, maybe because you hadn’t figured out how to get down yet.  Either way, I was stunned.  Part of me wondered if I should wake up your dad.  Part of me wondered if I should take a picture.  Ultimately, I figured your dad would see it the next time you did it, and I didn’t want to wake you up any more with the flash.   So I changed you, I fed you, and I went back to sleep, even though I was bursting with excitement—and disbelief—and couldn’t wait to tell your dad what I saw.  You really are growing up, Jacob.  Just when I was getting used to how mobile you are, just when I was starting to think that maybe you really would stay a baby forever, you reminded me that you have so much more to learn, so much more to do!

Did I say you did “an” awesome thing this weekend?  Scratch that.  You did two awesome things.  A few hours after you pulled yourself up in your crib, you started to crawl.  Like, really crawl.  Like, not just the inchworm thing you’ve been doing for a couple of weeks.  Now you are moving hand over hand, one knee at a time.  We’ve noticed you still resort to the worm when you really want to get somewhere; you’re more practiced at that and have more speed with it, but it’s not the only option anymore.  That blew me away, too.  Wow.  I mean, you’re such a big guy that you already look more like a little boy than a baby at times, but to see you do big boy things is a totally different story.

Two huge milestones in a matter of hours?  I’m starting to feel like things are moving quickly.  The first six months went at a steady pace.  Things changed, but not every four or five hours, and I didn’t feel anxious or nostalgic.  I was just excited to watch you grow.

I need to remind myself of that now, when I’m starting to get overwhelmed by the speed of life.  You are so smart and so able, and when I watch you figure things out, I see so much of your daddy in you.  The other day, you were in a crawling position, but stationary, and reaching out for something.  You reached with one hand and held yourself steady.  Then you switched to the other hand, to touch a different side of the thing.  You shook a bit, and I could see either your balance or your strength on that side wasn’t as solid.  You went back to the first hand, and I was concerned you’d give up.  But a second later, the shaky side was back in action.  You were not frustrated at all; you would not be deterred.  That is definitely more your dad’s character than mine, and I am so grateful to see it in you.  This patience, this fortitude, this trust in yourself will serve you well.

The other thing I wanted to record for you now is a little bit ironic.  After two months of needing a lot of help to get to sleep, you are going down at bedtime and even naptime rather easily.  About seven or seven-thirty p.m., you eat and doze and I put you in the crib.  You might cry for a minute, but then we don’t hear from you again for at least five hours.  On the one hand, it’s nice for daddy and I to have some quiet time in the evenings, either to eat a hot meal together or for daddy to study.  On the other hand, once you’ve been sleeping for a while, we start to miss you.  Tonight, we watched a video we took of you so we wouldn’t be tempted to go in your room and wake you up to snuggle.

I know this sleep is good for you, but I really look forward to seeing you in the morning, and even in the middle of the night!  You are so much fun, so sweet, so happy.  Oh my goodness, do you know how much we love you?  THIS MUCH AND MORE!!

I’ll try not to get too anxious about your growing up.  I do love watching you figure things out and seeing you do something today that you couldn’t do yesterday.  I know there is only more and more of that ahead.  And I don’t want to stay put right here, nor do I want to go back in time.  I pray for the grace to stay present with you, to appreciate every moment for the moment it is.  And I pray that by my example, I can teach you to do the same.

I love you, little man, my precious, precious little boy.

With all my heart,
Mom

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2 Responses to “Dear Jacob VIII”

  1. Go Jacob Go!

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