I know I will have to stop calling you Jacksie Boo at some point in the future, but am glad it's not today. Today marks an entire year of life, but only a year. Glimpses of your independence appear already, but I'm glad you are still our very dependent baby.
It's amazing to see within a family how each new addition brings out something unique in the other members. You and your brother have each brought out wonderful things in your Daddy and me, and in one another.
Do you know how much you melt our hearts? I think you do or else you would not continue to come up to me every 15 minutes and lay your head on my lap. And you wouldn't crawl as fast as your pudgy little legs will carry you down the hall towards Daddy when you hear him coming in the front door after work. These things are gifts.
One day you will not stare at me smiling, saying "Mommy" over and over again. One day you won't gnaw on a ginger snap, leaving slime all over your face, hands and clothes. One day you will find that there are other interesting and wonderful things to do in the world and may not be perfectly content playing at home all day, everyday. But that's not today and I'm thankful.
One day you won't want to spend every waking second with me in sight, but today you do. The days will come all too quickly when we have to detach, but I'm glad that's not today.
There will be a day when we won't sit and read books together (you closing and opening the book again with every new page). You won't laugh anymore at my silly song and dance numbers preformed to keep you happy when you're fussy and I'm trying to cook dinner.
One day you and I will not growl at each other like we're tigers. I won't look across the room and see you sitting with some toy that makes music and moving the top half of your little body to the rhythm.
One day you won't wake up in the night, and early in the morning. One day you and your big brother won't sit side by side in you booster seats, three meals a day, doing silly things that make the other laugh.
One day I won't be able to hold you in my arms and rock you to sleep. One day you won't sit facing me in the child's seat while grocery shopping, smiling and babbling and trying to grab my shirt with your goldfish-smeared hands.
But all these things are part of today, and I cherish them.
Today, you are a delight and a gift.
You will not be my baby boy for long, and I'm excited and prayerful about what the Lord will do with your life. Whatever it is, you must know that I am proud of you, and I love you for who God has made you to be, and for what he will continue to do.
I pray at a young age you will come to know and understand His incomparable grace, and the sacrifice Jesus made for you, and that you will follow him passionately from then on. I pray you will love God above all else in this world, above all the things that promise fulfillment and happiness but end up shallow. And I pray you will love others well with humility and joy. I pray you will lean on the Lord for strength and courage.
I like that Proverbs 31 notes that verses 1-9 are words taught to a son by his mother. She told him to open his mouth for the mute, and for all who are destitute. She told him to judge righteously, to defend the rights of the poor and needy. I encourage you to do the same, Jackson Justus.
I love you with love I didn't know possible.
Happy first birthday, son.