Jack is almost four years old. I stopped holding my breath after we made it through his first year. And then finally, he was the magical age 2 (you know, when all preemies “catch up.” As if.). And three just went by in a flash, probably because I was pregnant with little Harper and slightly out of touch. But, four, really. My little 2-pound baby is going to be 4. I’m amazed every day at who he has become and in awe of who he might be. But if anyone thinks, for one minute, that I have forgotten where and how he began…they would be sadly mistaken. I haven’t forgotten and I really don’t want to or feel the need to do so. It’s not something I think about every day, at least the specific details, but the emotions behind that beginning have stuck with me, for sure. Just this week, we sent Jack to his preschool’s “Camp Smile-A-Lot.” He just finished his first year and I’ve got to say, I didn’t get too emotional about leaving him there or worrying about him while there. But after his first day at camp, I picked him up and saw scraped knees and elbows and even a bloody scratch on his face. Now, don’t get me wrong, this kid has hurt himself more often than I can count. And I’m usually there to give him a quick hug and a kiss on the newest bruise or boo-boo. But this incident, for some reason, had me very emotional. And then, today, his third day, at drop-off, he pleaded, “Mommy don’t go” more often than I would have liked. Both of these moments brought a lump in my throat and tears to my eyes. I chastised myself, wondering why I could possibly be so emotional about something so minor. And it hit me…we are less than 2 months from the anniversary of the day when it all started. The day, when I suddenly couldn’t help him when he was “hurt” and I had to leave him too.too often. The day, when I wasn’t always there for him when he needed me or when he cried (and unfortunately I can never forget the dad of another patient telling me that Jack cried all the time while I was gone.) While he can now tell me when he hurts or ask me not to go, he could not then. But I knew it. I knew he hurt. I knew he struggled. And I couldn’t be there and too often, I couldn’t hold him to make it better. That kind of heartbreak just can’t be forgotten. It may be felt less often, but I have a feeling it will always be part of me. (Strangely enough, a new preemie mom was discussing the emotions involved and today I could tell her that they never really go away, but are easier to handle as the years pass.)
Moving on for some regular updates:
- Jack finished his first year of preschool and got a glowing
report card from his first teacher, Miss Sheri.
By the way, I couldn’t have picked a better teacher or program for Jack’s
first school experience.
- Jack and I just returned from a mommy-son mini-vacation. We had the best time in Florida, visiting Jack’s Great Aunt Sue. He spent HOURS in the ocean, which means I didn’t get to relax, but we had a great time together. He’s a great traveler. (And yes, I left little Harper with her daddy. She’ll never know. And her infancy, while perfectly typical and pleasant, is too often causing me to flashback to Jack’s, which was not at all typical and often painful, for both of us. I needed a few days to clear my head of all that! Plus, every mom deserves a break. If you can call traveling with a 3 year old a break!)
- Jack is currently obsessed with the makers of cars these days. He knows the difference between a Toyota and a Subaru and even between a Honda and a Hyundai.
- Jack is doing great with all his therapies and will most likely be released from Speech and possibly OT, although I still see a lot of fine motor issues that I’d rather be resolved now instead of causing problems for him with handwriting or other activities in elementary school. Same goes for PT. Looking at Jack, you probably wouldn’t see the PT concerns. But, look at Jack and other kiddos his age or younger, say at a birthday party involving bounce houses and climbing ladders and you will see the issues he has with motor planning and core strength. He’s also been “released” from seeing the eye doctor for 2 years! If you’ve ever taken a toddler/preschooler for an eye exam, you know how exciting this 2 year break is.
- We are still working on potty-training. Jack knows when he has to go and how to go, but is just too busy!
- The other day I passed a large truck on the road and Jack called me a GENIUS! I’ll take it.
- Jack has decided that he has mommy and Harper has daddy. That is all.
- Jack apparently puts himself to sleep by counting vehicles instead of sheep.
- Parenting two kiddos - I feel like I’m a pretty good mom to Jack. And I also feel like I’m a pretty good mom to Harper. But being a mom to Jack AND Harper…that’s hard!
- I think Jack likes Harper. He imitates us by getting close to her face, shaking his head back and forth, and shouting “You’re a cutie!” in a very high-pitched voice.
- Harper is 4 months old and weighs a little over 14lbs. Just for comparison, Jack weighed just 15lbs when he was 1 year old (or 9 months adjusted). She is starting to sleep for longer periods at night (sometimes from 7:30pm to 7am) and wants to sit up rather badly. Still not rolling over because she dislikes tummy time. She always has a smile, unless she is hungry, and is even starting to giggle.
- Hmm….what else? Looks like I will be staying home with Jack & Harper until January 2015. Since Harper is our last baby, I’m glad to be able to spend extra time with both of my kiddos before going back to work.