Thursday, January 28, 2016
Our Eight Year Old
Eight years ago today, this boy came into the world - on one of the coldest nights of winter - at 7:14pm. 59 minutes of pushing, a scary few first moments when they weren't sure he was breathing quite right and wouldn't let me hold him, an aunt Cassi who stood outside the room with her ear pressed against the hospital door, listening to the counts in between contractions and pushes, and a 1 1/2 year old cousin Ella who greeted him for the first time with, "Happy birthday JADEN! It's a BOY. THAT'S a boy!" -- which can be heard in the background on the home video that was shot when he was a mere 30 minutes old.
Our hospital room was flooded that first night with all of our family, I was a little bit out of it due to drugs, adrenaline, amazement and love, and this one captured all of our hearts from those first moments - with his alert and wide eyes and his little tongue that he kept sticking out over and over again, licking his lips repeatedly - and no doubt - looking for food!
And after everyone left and while the rest of the world slept, there he and I sat together - through the whole night - staring at each other for hours on end. I've never seen such an alert newborn. We locked eyes all night long, not worrying about sleep, and I knew then that I'd never let go.
It's amazing that it's been eight years. My whole life - all I dreamt of was motherhood - and now eight years in, I still pinch myself sometimes that I get to take this journey. And though we're far removed now from those early baby years - when everything was new and sweet, smelled like milk and powder and baby shampoo - far removed from the years when there were no time-outs given or homework to complete or sports practices to race to after school - though those early fairytale years are behind us, I'm still thankful for every day we're given together.
And very thankful for our Jaden. A complete and wild goofball that's either holding food, a video game controller, or a ball of some kind in his hands at all times. Who loves a party, which to him is whenever his favorite people are all in the same room at the same time (with food, too, of course), who is happiest on a football field, who lives life at a hundred miles an hour but hates roller coasters and would rather sit in a hot tub than a wave pool.
Our Jaden - who loves to laugh, wrestle, sing in the shower and drink root beer. Who tries our patience, pushes his brother's buttons and is a rock star leader and friend at school
Our Jaden - who seems to be a natural born athlete, remains at the top of the charts in height and weight, prefers math over reading and is now grown up enough to get out of bed on his own in the morning, turn on the TV and let us sleep in - or walk into the kitchen and grab snacks and drinks without asking - or get the mail after school without being prompted to - but still never remembers to pick up his own dirty underwear off the floor beside his bed.
Our Jaden - who is all boy and still thinks girls have cooties but blushes a bit if you ask him about the girls in his class. Who is sweet and gentle with babies, rough and rowdy with his brother and his cat and is going to be taller than me in no time.
Our Jaden - who prays in the middle of the night when he's had a bad dream, thinks taking time to go to the bathroom is a huge waste of 60 seconds - and who asked me the other day how much money professional mathematicians make. (Say what?!)
Our Jaden - who loves watching the old Goosebumps shows from the 90's on Netflix, refused to invite a single girl to his upcoming birthday party (not even his cousin Ella), and loves playing board games or Uno.
Our Jaden - who is cautious and timid about trying new things but runs full speed at any unsuspecting victim or family member when he wants a hug, a tackle, or a tickle.
Our Jaden - who still thinks pizza is its own food group, can rattle off any professional football player's name, number, stats and team, and has his mind firmly set on being one of them one day.
To the most handsome eight year old I know. You are loved more than all the stars. Happy birthday. Let's make Eight great.