Saturday, March 28, 2015

To Jackson on His 8th Birthday

IMG_9912Sugar Boy,

Let’s sum up this year so far with quotes from your 2nd grade teacher. She says, “Jackson actively participates in our classroom discussions and has become much better at listening to what his classmates have to say. I have noticed a shift in his personality to being more open-minded and accepting of others. He enjoys math and can comprehend and communicate math problems very easily. Jackson is also a good reader. I will encourage him to set a classroom goal of reading higher level books when he is finished with his morning assignments. He walks into our classroom each morning ready to learn! Keep up the good work, Jackson!”

Your teacher notices some of my favorite things about you:

  1. You are smart. Really smart! Almost too smart for me, because you think through possibilities faster than I can keep up sometimes. Of course, this isn’t always good because sometimes you are already planning a way to get out of trouble before you even get into it!
  2. You are a great reader. You are voraciously chewing through books faster than I can keep up with you. Every time we go to the library, I can count on having at least an hour to myself when we return home because you beeline straight to the couch and dive into your library books.
  3. I, too, have noticed a personality shift this past year. You have become just a little more rational and able to comprehend things you weren’t able to assess before. Sometimes, this means you think through cause-and-effect prior to making a not-so-good decision. Other times, you’re still working on that a bit. (ahem) But I can definitely see a change in your compassion and empathy lately. You have been able to reach out to others in ways I haven’t seen before.

One thing your teacher didn’t notice that I have noticed is your growing faith this past year. You have been so eager to tell me, Daddy and Katie about Bible stories you’ve read. A few times, you’ve even corrected me on specific facts from a Bible story. (I was quite impressed the day you explained Moses’ Tent of Meeting to me, and flipped directly to the specific passage in your Bible!)

If I had to describe you in one word, it would be hard to choose just one (and I’d have to use a lot of compound words and hyphens). But, honestly, one thing that sticks out for me is your ability to love. When you love, man, you love in a purely unrestrained and thick way. For example, all you wanted to do for your birthday was to have friends over and have a Nerf gun fight. It wasn’t a present or spending money, it was simply hanging with friends and spending time with them. Your currency is people and truly, deeply loving them.

Lately, we’ve talked a little bit about that faint birth mark on the inside of your right forearm. It’s in the shape of a heart, and I’ve been telling you that it was God’s way of marking you and reminding you of your life’s purpose: to love others and to love Him.

You’ve already loved an entire lifetime full in just eight years, and I pray God gives you eighty more to keep on doing so!

I love you,


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