Thursday, July 29, 2010

Jack, Month 1

Dear Jack,

Tomorrow you will be 6 weeks old.  I have been thinking for a long time now (well, at least 6 weeks) about what to write you in your first "official" letter.  I wanted to write it when you were a month old, but you can blame yourself for my exhaustion and your sister for my not having any quiet time these days.

In the past month, you've met almost all your relatives, including the man we named you for, your Great-Grandpa Jack.  Your dad and I decided long before we were married and I was ever pregnant that if we had a son, we'd name him after Grandpa.  That "him" turned out to be you.

So far everyone has an opinion about who you look like.  Everyone from your dad or me to your grandpa Gary or uncle Kyle and even Phoebe.  We're not really sure who you look like and your look changes daily.  While Phoebe definitely looks like your dad or uncle Stuart, you just look like Jack.  And everyone tells us you're the most beautiful baby.  (We tend to agree ... particularly now that Phoebe is a toddler so we're not, you know, picking favorites.)

The day after we brought you home from the hospital we went to church to celebrate Father's Day.  I had an inordinate amount of adrenaline and wanted your dad to be able to show off his son to our friends at church.  He couldn't have been more proud and he told everyone how he helped deliver you.  It really was an amazing experience.

We've been going to church just about every Sunday (depending on the amount of sleep we got the night before) and I look with new eyes at the people in the pews.

An elderly usher walks by to give communion, and I notice the way he walks.  I think about the fact that you'll be a man some day.  A man!  My (not-so) little baby in the little sling.  It blows my mind.  I start to tear up when I think about how adorable old men are, and how much babies look like old men and that I'll never know you as an old man.

Maybe you'll have a long life like Grandpa Jack (who is still kicking and drinking beer at 91), but surely your dad and I won't be around to see it.

It makes me ever more aware of the way we spend time with you, and the way we raise you.  And I think  maybe you'll grow up and have 4 daughters and one of their sons will name their first born son after you.  I hope you live a life worthy of the name we gave you.

I've already told your dad that I fully intend to spoil you rotten so that no woman is good enough for you, but I know that's ridiculous and more than likely you'll someday move out, get married, and fall in love with another woman.

I am going to try really really hard not to be jealous.  But I do not promise to ever stop kissing your sweet little pumpkinhead.

And speaking of pumpkin heads ... You are a big baby.  We see other moms with their 3 month olds and they think you are the same age.  Nope.  You're still our little newborn.  Sometimes we forget and treat you as if you're older (you know, letting you drive the car and smoke cigarettes and what-not) but you're just so big and so strong.  You've been holding your own head pretty much since day 1 and you've been putting weight on your feet for weeks now (which is such a strange experience for us considering Phoebe didn't do that until she was well over a year old) You're already the same weight Phoebe was when she was 4 months old.  I anticipate you will outweigh her by Christmas.

Oh and Phoebe.  She is just dying to pick you up and carry you.  I'm not sure if that's ever going to be possible, but I know she will never give up trying.  She just loves you so much she shakes sometimes.  She hands me blankets to put on you, and burp cloths when you spit up (all day long).  She tries valiantly to get you to take a pacifier when you're crying, and she throws toys at your head to make you happy.  Watching her love you -- even while you're screaming in her ear -- is a lesson in patience and kindness I hope to possess someday.

We sit on the couch (you, Phoebe and I) and the two ladies in your life look at you and give you kisses and loves and I think what a lucky baby you are to have so many people who love you.  Your dad comes home from work and wants to hold you.  Even when you're crying.

Because of our experiences with Phoebe, we know how quickly you're going to grow up and stop being a baby, so we are trying really really hard to hold onto the moments as they happen.  Difficult to do in the day-to-day, but there are those moments when we try to grasp time and squeeze every last drop out of it because we know it'll just become one big blur all too soon.

I told your dad a few weeks ago that being a parent is forcing me to become more patient.  This is what children do -- they make you a better person.

That night you fell asleep nursing (yes, you are nursing, and by the time you're reading this you're old enough to know what that is and you can stop gagging now) and when I got up to put you back in the co-sleeper, I looked down at you sleeping in the exact same position as your dad.  I looked at the two of you for a really long time.  I marveled (yes, marveled) that some day you're going to be the man of your house.  You're going to have a wife.  A baby (babies?).  Support a family.  Have the stresses of manhood weighing on your shoulders. 

I hope we (all) do a good job preparing you for the task.

Welcome to the world, Jack Michael. 


1 comment:

Annie said...

I started reading this, and went, "Wow! He's a month old already?" only to discover he's actually SIX WEEKS! I can't believe it. He is absolutely precious (as is Phoebe with him!) and I can't wait to see you guys even more now :D