This is the morning before Jacob Aaron came into the world.
A few hours later.
His pleasant personality landed him in NICU for his first day on the outside. My labor was fast and Jacob didn't cry much, which left his baby lungs with too much fluid and not enough air. At the time I was anxious to see my new son and unaware that my middle child angst for him - I would be five months pregnant on his first birthday, a circumstance that still makes me smile given our soul-crushing struggles to have children - would center around the fact that he does not grab and demand what he needs. Unless we're intentional and pay close attention, Jacob doesn't get the emotional oxygen he needs.
He turned 8 years old last week. The past few months have been big for him. He's moving from little, little boy to big little boy.
At church in September...
Me: (smirky smile and raised eyebrows at Chris who was holding Jacob)
Chris: (guilty grin, whispers) He's not going to want to do this much longer.
Me: (genuine smile) You're right.
Me: (grab Jacob's hand as we walk into the store and notice his hand is resting very unenthusiastically in mine) Would you rather not hold hands anymore?
Jacob: Yeah. I don't really like that.
It's going to be hard to give this sweet-natured boy the space he needs over the next decade or two.
Jacob has a great laugh. Movies are funnier with him. I enjoyed Major Pain at least twice as much when I watched it with him. He has inherited every shred of rhythm from both side of his family and can booty dance with surprising skill. He developed this dance as a dodgeball strategy.
Jacob: If somebody's about to throw a ball at me, I do this (funky, booty-shaking moves), and they NEVER throw the ball at me.
We were at Chick-Fil-A a few weeks later and Jacob jumped up on a bench in the play area and started dancing.
Elderly man: I didn't know this was THAT kind of place.
I'm so shocked that a child of mine has these kind of moves, that I constantly and rather weirdly try to get him to demonstrate for friends and family. It'll be on the growing list of things for which he needs therapy.
A benefit of being an occasionally overlooked middle child, at least at my house, is that I am more careful about Jacob's birthday than anyone else's. We always go all in on his birthday, and this year, even though I had to change out Chris' IV fluids during the party, was no exception.
Comic book shop
Grandaddy as back up in case of medical emergency so I could focus on Jacob
Happy birthday sweet, sweet child. Eight years is FAST!