When your daily activities are in concert with your highest priorities, you have a credible claim to inner peace. – Hyrum Smith


Birthday Monkey

Dear Jacky-Jack,

My little monkey.  You just turned three, but you are as tall as a four year old.  You are all smiles and sobs.  You are tickle fights and temper tantrums.  You are my little love.

Jack, you have pined for your birthday celebration all month long.  Unfortunately for you, we celebrated exactly seven birthdays in our home this month before yours finally came along.  Grandpa, Drake, Kane, Eli, Lana, Julie, and Caleb all got to blow out candles around our kitchen table, as you watched, sobbing, "But it's my birfday!"

And then it was.  Only it wasn't.  It wasn't at all what I had envisioned.  No streamers or balloons.  No party plates and napkins.  We didn't even wrap your gifts.  Daddy took you all to pick up the Spiderman ice-cream cake we'd ordered because I was sick in bed with fever and chills.  The moment he got home, all of you kids were so anxious to dig in, I barely made it out of the bedroom in time to sing you "Happy Birthday."

Lucky for you, Ms. Lana saved the day.  A few days after your actual birthday (when mommy was feeling better), we secretly decorated the kitchen and baked cupcakes as you and the others played in your room.  When you emerged, you had an actual birthday party, complete with streamers, balloons, party favors, games, wrapped gifts, and guests.  Your eyes were as big as saucers.  You had a ball!

Oh my little Jack, there is so much I want to remember about you as you are right at this very moment in time.  Your thumb tucked in your mouth, the way you call Caleb "Caywub," your giant toothy grin, the way you say, "your" instead of "you," hearing your little voice sing "Everything is Awesome" from the Lego movie and Neon Trees' "Animal," the fact that you think Lightening McQueen's name is Kachow, the way you carefully secure the straps on your shoes (on the wrong feet), the heaviness of your head on my shoulder, the roundness of your knees and fingertips, your long eyelashes, the way you always answer an "I love you" with an "I wuv you, too."  Though you sometimes still refuse to get dressed, though you forget to flush the toilet (leaving a very tempting mess for baby brother), though you destroy your brother's Lego creations, and use your sister's markers to embellish the tile floors - I will always love you.

Your actions are almost never out of spite.  You are my Curious George.  I love you to pieces, sweet boy.  Happy belated birthday.

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