Jake is 6

Today is Jake’s birthday. Like all mothers, it’s hard to believe when your kids suddenly look huge yet it feels like they’re still little babies. The sight of Jake is especially jarring to me because of the way he came into the world.

Nine weeks early. He had people to see and places to go. What a shock his birth was. I’m not an overly emotional person (my sister in law comments that if anyone in my family was informed of a catastrophe she is fully confident we’d wear the exact same expression as if the person had said “Mail’s here.”) but every time a picture of a NICU or an infant in an incubator comes onto TV or is in a magazine, I’m immediately transported back to the early days of Jake’s life.

It’s amazing everytime I realize that his birth is not just a memory in my brain, but it’s embedded in my skin, ready to spring to life whenever something reminds me of it.

Beth was premature, too, but I was prepared for her and the feeling associated with her NICU stay is completely different. Weird stuff.

But, Jake’s happy and so proud to be six. He’s amazing and crazy (he is like me in so many ways that I actually feel bad for him sometimes) and, unlike me, wears every expression imaginable. He’s one of those people who lights up a room, rarely hesitating to engage others, ask questions, offer his opinion.

But perhaps the strangest thing, or biggest difference between Jake and his sister is he seems to have an core lack of trust in his parents. In his eyes, since the time he was an infant it seemed, he never let us show him or tell him anything.

Today, he doesn’t believe it when we tell him something will be okay, when he try to get him to settle down, to not be afraid. And what’s weird about that is that for the first year of his life, he was inconsolable most of the time. Nothing we tried soothed him or helped him transition from wake to sleep, from dressed to undressed, from starving to eating. No soft tones or ways of holding him convinced him to settle down and just enjoy the fullfillment of his basic needs.

He just has to figure everything out on his own.

In contrast Beth believes everything we say. She calms from hysteria to a smile with mere words, touches, holding, and she’s been that way since she was incubator-bound, too. Both are great in different ways (I’ll tell you more about Beth when her birthday arrives in two months), but so very different.

Sorry for the long rambling post, but this is what’s on my mind today…

7 thoughts on “Jake is 6

  1. Happy birthday, Jake!

    And congratulations, Kathie!!! You’re a terrific mom. You’re giving Jake and Beth both what they each need — even though they (and sometimes you) don’t know it. They’re as lucky to have you as you are to have them.

  2. Happy birthday to your son! My eldest is like him: she never takes my word for anything and when she was born, she looked as if she were thinking deeply. My obstetrician commented that she looked like she’d already figured everything out, and I could only agree; even when she was two or three days of age, I’d catch her looking at me with a certain ‘Hmm, this one’s pretty dumb’ look on her face. Unsettling, it was, and it’s only gotten worse over time…

    As for the parent hoarding post, you’re ON! I’ll post mine in an hour or so…maybe less, if my kids, who are off school for the dreaded October holidays, leave me alone! I’m so sure I’ll win…

  3. Dana, so good to hear from you…hope all is well with you and everyone else in your family!
    Cindy, you are the sweetest. I appreciate your thoughts and I agree, we are all lucky.
    Mary, that’s funny that you have a similar child who was born knowing all. Boy are they going to fall hard some day. The good thing is, at this point, when he finds out I’m actually right about something he admits it to me. I wonder how long that will last? Okay, I’m going to fashion my hoarding post right now…can’t wait to see yours.

  4. Happy Belated Birthday, Jakie! Kath, you’re a great Mom. Jake is just independent–he needs to learn things for himself, much like his Auntie Beth. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.