Thursday, September 10, 2009

Jameson Turns Four

On the day you were born, I had no idea how much you would change my life.

When you become a parent, you give up a lot of things but you gain far more. As I think back now about how it feels to become a parent, I would say it's as if you have suddenly gained a part of yourself that you never knew you were missing. From that day forward, you cannot imagine living without that piece of you, and sometimes you hardly remember your life without it.

We had a doula attend Darwin's birth, and during a conversation with her, we talked about having children. She was telling me about her five girls and how they ended up with five. She told me that after they had their 3rd, her husband was ready to stop, but she really felt that she wanted another. I asked her how she convinced him to have another, and she told me how she described to him how she had already envisioned her next daughter. She told him what she was going to be like, and about how much she would miss her if she was never born.

What struck me about this conversation was how she said she would miss her yet unborn daughter. Strangely enough, I knew exactly what she meant. People ask how we have the time or energy to have/make more children, and I struggle more with 'how could I refuse them?'. Today, Jameson, you turn four, and I can say with certainty, that my life would not be complete without you.

In the years since you were born, we have watched you learn and discover so many things about life, about your Mom and Dad, your family, and about yourself. You have become a big brother 3 times over, and I know this is your proudest accomplishment. This year, you gained a "sitting buddy" and proved you were absolutely right when you told us 'Baby Bob the Boy' was in Mom's belly.

This year you started "working on your patience", and I am so proud that you're learning to eat your vegetables. You told us that you were ready for school, so you Dad started your "lessons" at home. He's doing a wonderful job, and I love seeing some of your experiments (He's been working on his photography.).

You surprise me nearly every day with everything that you know and say. Some days you are so mature and grown-up that it's hard to believe you're only 3 (four now). Other days, we have to remind ourselves since we expect so much of you.

You are so much fun that conversations with you are truly an adventure. Some days I wonder and laugh about how you must come up with your stories and explanations about how or why things happen. One of Mom and Dad's favorite is your explanation of falling in love and getting married.

There is no question you are afraid to ask, and sometimes Mom and Dad have to be careful and creative about how we answer. We believe in always telling you the truth, so when you asked how Baby Bob was going to get out of my belly, I had to pause for a moment to figure out how to answer you. Lucky for me, you were satisfied with my honest, but not too graphic answer.

In the years since you came into our crazy family, you have taught me a lot about myself. Through you and in you, I have seen my greatest strengths and weaknesses. As you grow into a boy and someday into a man, my hope is that you remain that caring, thoughtful, sensitive, beautiful person that you are. You are a wonderful son and an amazing brother. I pray for many more happy, healthy years for you and our family, and I cherish all the years we have already shared. Truman, Amelia, and Baby Bob (Darwin) are so lucky that you are their role model, and they are already learning so much from you.

We all love you, and I hope you have a happy 4th birthday!