Dear Jacob XXV

Dear Jacob,


You are three years old, and funnier, sweeter every day. You are also looking to stand your ground when you can, which, quite frankly, is exhausting. Some days are twelve hours of a power struggle, but you find ways, intentionally or not, to make me smile in the midst of it.


A few of the better moments these last few weeks:


You jumped a little on the potty when I came into the bathroom the other day. “Oh, sorry,” I said. “I didn’t mean to surprise you.”


“You don’t need to say sorry, Mommy,” you told me. “It was just a pur-prise.”


*            *            *


You were playing your favorite game, The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game, with PopPop. He pretended to be sad that it looked like he was going to lose. “Don’t worry!” you told him, and you coached him to the end of the game, making sure he didn’t get upset again.


*            *            *


My favorite: The day you’ve had the most trouble getting down for a nap thus far, you were in the living room in a pack ‘n’ play, so Henry could sleep in your room. I was in the kitchen to be out of your line of vision, eating another breakfast (at 3 pm) for energy and reading to keep myself still—and awake. You kept calling in, telling me you were done with the nap you hadn’t actually taken.


Finally, I heard you say, “This nap has ended! Go in peace to love and serve the Lord,”—or really, “to dove and serve da Dord.” For all the fidgeting you do at Mass, you are paying attention!


*            *            *


You are finding your way through your emotions, your thoughts, your wants. I am trying my best to lead you, but there are time when I feel totally lost. Thank goodness I have your daddy, the voice of reason, at my side. You are so, so lucky to have him for your father. He is a strong, patient, and selfless man. He asks the right questions and always thinks before he speaks. I hope you learn these things from him.


In some ways it’s hard to believe you were born three whole years ago. I am a different person now than I was then, and thank goodness. You challenge me, you love me, you encourage me to be all that I can be. A few weeks ago, we went for a walk. I was in running clothes, but it had been a while since I’d run and I wasn’t sure I was up to getting back into it. Right away, though, you asked me to run. I gave it a shot and a minute later, you told me, “You’re a good runner.” I don’t think that of myself, but you gave me the power, in that simple compliment, to run a mile and a half.


You are the most polite boy I’ve ever met. Some of it we’ve taught you, but some you’ve figured out for yourself. You thank me for the food I give you and tell me it’s “vewy tasty.” I know these things are sincere, because while you might fib about whether or not you need to go potty or were the one to knock Henry down, there are certain things you say that clearly come right from your heart. I pray I can help you grow and embrace that sincerity, so that you grow into a man with integrity.


I love you every day, Jacob, up to the ceiling! Thank you for teaching me so much, for loving me, and for being the great brother you are.


With all my heart,

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