I have this boy in my heart. He’s been around for almost twelve years now and has completely changed my life. Our second son Jacob Allan Mark joined our family on May 29th 2000. Three minutes into our seventh anniversary and weighing in at a whopping 10lbs 7oz. Nothing about this boy was tiny and delicate. From the moment he arrived he was a massive presence in our lives. As a baby he was an interesting paradox. His entry into the world was our only ‘perfect’ birth experience despite his rather large size. Just us and our midwives, no medication, no trauma and delivered up onto my chest where he took his first breath in my arms. Noel took a picture of Jacob and I at this moment and it is one of my most cherished memories captured on film. He absolutely refused to use a soother but found his thumb within 24 hours of life. Short of amputation we were not going to break this preference. He was sensitive to tone of voice and would get upset if he thought someone else was upset. He loved to snuggle, still does in fact for which I am thankful. Jacob was a wonderful baby and was loved completely by his big brother and his family.
As he got older he started to become his own unique person. He could entertain himself easily and seemed happy yet didn’t smile for just anyone. His imagination was in overdrive and he could make himself laugh or freak himself out very easily. The terrible two’s were indeed terrible and lasted a looooong time. He became frustrated easily if we couldn’t understand what he wanted to say to us and we spent many days with him laying on the floor at our feet having a little hissy fit. It was fun. We got a whole new lesson in parenting that we hadn’t learned with our easy going first born. God gives you what you need and apparently we needed to learn how to parent ourselves. To me it seemed that Jacob had gotten the worst our genetics had to offer. The stubborn behaviour and insecurity of his mother and the temper of his father. Great combo. I spent many hours in prayer to God asking for guidance in how to parent this boy and praying for God to more than make up for our shortcomings.
Jacob is our deep thinker and our old soul with a great sense of humour mixed in. His school teachers and Sunday school teachers would sometimes come up to us laughing to say they had a Jacob story. I always had to brace myself because I never knew what he was going to come up with. He told his grade two teacher one day that his underwear were too tight so the teacher nicely asked if I could buy him some new ones since Jacob found this problem very distracting. Who tells their teacher this and not their mother? He asked a lady at church one day if she was old and then quickly reassured her that he liked old people. Manners and decorum are sometimes beyond Jacob even now. It’s a work in progress like most things related to child rearing.
One Sunday on the way to church he was unusually quiet for a few minutes and then asked, “is it true that people are always smiling on the inside?” Noel replied that some people have difficult circumstances and aren’t smiling inside or out. “No,” Jacob corrected, “I mean underneath their skin. Their skulls. Are their skulls always smiling? You can see a skull’s teeth all the time.” These are the thoughts that arrest Jacob.
I love to hear Jacob pray. All our boys say a prayer that I taught them when they were very young so they know it by heart but I always try to get them thinking about what they want to say to God each day. I want them to know that God wants to hear what is on their hearts and that changes every day so their prayers are going to be different each day. Jacob does this a little better than the other boys. He prays for what he is dealing with and how he is feeling. When he says thank you for my blessings, he names them and they are heart felt. Jacob is wise beyond his years and as we celebrated his baptism he was praying that he would learn more and more about Jesus as he got older. He thanked God that he had the opportunity to be baptized and that he grew up with a mommy and daddy that knew Jesus so that he could be taught about God from the time he was a baby. I am frequently impressed with Jacob’s heart. He wants to serve God. All the time his dad and I spent in prayer for this complex boy has been time well spent with God. He has heard our prayers and I can just catch a glimpse of the potential in Jacob. I can’t wait to see what he does with his life. Jacob, my terrific, responsible, sensitive, funny, and emotional boy you make my life and I’m a blessed mommy simply because I have you.