Happy Birthday Jack!!

Dear Jack,

I can’t believe you are DOUBLE DIGITS! I dreamed last night of you as a little bitty toddler, still saying things like “she’s shoes” and not being able to pronounce your “r” and “s.” Sometimes I miss seeing that squishy, sweet, little toddler boy, but I love this stage of having a big boy, too. And it helps that you are the sweetest “big boy” I know. You still love to snuggle and be “pat-patted.” You are tender hearted, sweet, caring, kind, obnoxious, loud, annoying, full of energy, lazy, and crazy, all at the same time.

It has been a unique year for all of us, one you will probably always remember- the “Covid” year. Even though that brought a lot not so pleasant things, there were also some good things. You got to experience homeschooling (and decided you preferred regular school, even though you didn’t mind homeschooling too much). We had lots of time to spend together as a family. You got to enjoy just being home a lot- you really like being here! You were a champ about wearing masks all the time-you never complained once.

Some of your favorites this year have been family movie nights (we all love a good heist movie), board games (board games are your love language, no joke), all things Star Wars and Mandalorian, riding your bike and Ripstick, driving the lawn mower, rollerblading with Josie, your cats, the “Wings of Fire” series you’ve been reading (I’ve been so excited to see you pick up books to read on your own this year!), playing on the Switch, making zip lines and obstacle courses outside (American Ninja Warrior style), climbing trees, fishing, throwing baseball with your daddy, and lately, the Star Wars board game y’all have started playing together. You LOVE being in your pajamas. You would literally live in them if we let you. Your very best friend is still Finn. You love everyone in your class, though-I love to see your sweetness towards your classmates (and I’ve gotten to see a lot this year, since I’ve been your teacher!).

Some of your favorite foods have changed, and you are eating a lot more now! Your favorite “restaurant” food is quesadillas- and it doesn’t matter where they come from! Milkshakes are always your chosen Golly G’s treat. You also still love all things Chinese. You love sweet tea, and your favorite home cooked foods are fried chicken, fried okra, fried apples (sensing a theme?), and sweet potatoes. You are big fan of ANY type of muffin or donut, and salads have also been a hit with you this year. You are really not very picky, and basically eat almost anything we put in front of you-or you at least will try it.

Even though we were limited on our normal activities, we still got to do a lot of fun things. We went on your very first overnight hiking trip to Roane mountain. You loved every minute of it. You and Josie spent the night in the treehouse a couple of nights over the summer. Your best friend Finn (and his siblings) got to spend the night for 2 nights at our house while their mom was having a baby. You mastered swimming. You won FIRST PLACE in every cross country race for the season and placed first overall in the league for your age group!! All that energy had to go somewhere! Your mandolin teacher has nothing for praise for you- you have worked hard, never complain about practicing, and that hard work is paying off! You are getting crazy good at bike jumps and tricks, and you will climb anything we let you. All of your pants have holes in the knees, and you go through tennis shoes at rapid pace. You LOVE life, and I love to watch you live it!

I love you, sweet boy. No matter how big you get, you will always be my baby.


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