I am a terrible mother.
For the last few weeks people have been asking me how old Jacob is, I always answer "he is almost one." I think the reason people ask is because he is walking everywhere now. He is also in a phase where he does things like insisting on pushing the cart in Target or his stroller in the mall. He even goes as far as grabbing my hand to pull me AWAY from the cart so I don't interfere with his process. Charming, huh? People always express surpise when I answer because he is really small. He looks like a walking 6 month old (and is still wearing 6-9 month clothes, poor baby).
Lately, when asked, I have been answering "he turns one on Saturday". I am just about to burst my buttons because I can't believe that my boy is almost one. I think about how much has happened in a year, what I was doing a year ago etc. Just today, I realized that I had gotten the day wrong. He isn't turning one on Saturday because that is the 8th, his birthday is on the 7th, that is Friday. I was laughing about this on the phone with my friend and she was quiet for a minute. Finally she said "are you sure, Rebecca? Isn't his birthday on the 6th?" I was just about to become indignant and say something like "I would know my own kids birthday--I was there after all" but something struck true. Suddenly, I couldn't remember the day of his birthday.
How can this be? Is it because he was adopted and I didn't physically give birth to him? Wouldn't that make me MORE likely to remember? Granted I slept at the hospital for three days inbetween taking care of her other kids. I didn't even know my own name by the end of it, but I would remember that......right?
I called my husband. "Is Cubby's birthday the 6th or the 7th?"
"Are you sure? I thought it was the 7th."
"Rebecca, you have done this before, I remember hearing you tell someone else that his birthday was the 7th and I thought to myself, no it isn't."
"How could I not remember that ?"
"Here is an easy way, just think of him as a little devil baby. He was 6 pounds and 6 ounces and born on the 6th. 666."
Riiiiiiiight, the devils child. Got it.
I can joke about this boy being the devils child because he so clearly is NOT. From the first day JJ entered the world he has been a happy and easy going soul. When I first brought him home and we weren't sure how serious his diagnosis of Galactosemia was, he was mellow and calm. He rarely cried and his face just radiated joy. Lulu and I used to race to his room in the morning to see who would get the "wake up smile". The first thing he does when he wakes up is flash a big smile. Now that he is older he can jabber, clap and laugh too. It is very infectious.
When Derek blessed him, he said that one of Jacob's special talents was to be cheerful. That is a very good description. He is a cheerful boy and it is a talent.
I guess I can give myself a break about not knowing the day he was born. There are lots of other dates that are important. The 8th of October is the day his birth mom relinquished her rights. I stayed at the hospital while they all went to court. I just held Jacob and for the first time REALLY looked at him. Even though he looked like an 80 year old woman with a bad perm, he felt like mine. I just said to him over and over "hey there, I am your Mommy." I recognized the look in his eyes and knew right there that he was mine. The bond was instant and visceral, must faster and stronger then with Lauren. He was meant for our family. The 8th of April is the day that we finalized his adoption. That was also the day his birth certificate was changed to the name we chose for him and his parents names were listed as Derek and Rebecca. The 9th of April we were sealed together as a family. Lisa Clark held him during the sealing and instead of having to wrestle him (like I thought she would be doing), he just sat and listened and looked at us the whole time, almost as if he knew what was being said. All of our friends and family were there to witness this big event. It was one of the best days for our family.
The last year has been full of major adjustments for our family. One bright spot has been to see our little Lulu blossom into a big sister. She loves this boy and uses him as her personal slave and perpetual dancing partner. She is the one that can always get him to laugh. He follows her and copies everything she does. When she sings, he sings. When she dances, he dances. When she goes to school he grabs her doll, her doll bed and one of her dress ups and drags them around the house. He is even starting to say "ooohhh ohhhh" for Lulu. Lauren has been telling me lately that "it is fun to have a brown brother". She still feels this way even though he is old enough to start getting into her stuff.
We got to watch Jacob go from a smiling, not so cute lump(see the above picture, Don King look alike--yes, cute--not so much), to a cuter smiling crawler to a dashing and handsome, smiling walker. Even though there has been drama in the last year, he has added the sunshine. I look forward to him being able to speak so we can know what it is that makes him so happy. He loves to snuggle and he loves his mama. Last night I forgot to rock him before bed and he crawled over to the rocking chair and starting "singing" and pushing it. He is starting to watch Barney, Teletubbies and Elmo. He has a round face and large brown eyes and the longest eyelashes EVER. His hair grows faster then mine, Dereks and Lauren's put together. He has a strong sense of what he wants and usually finds a way to get it. We can usually find him playing the piano or pounding on a keyboard. He is the boy of many nicknames; JJ, little J, Cubby, Dr. J, man cub, monkey man, grumpy pants, puppy...the list goes one and on. He has a voice like Barry White. Even as a tiny baby he had a very deep cry. He still has a low and scratchy voice, but can "whisper" in the most soft and gentle voice too. He eats more then most 3 year olds and will someday, SOMEDAY graduate to 12 month size clothes. I forgot how fun and incredibly frustrating a one year old can be at the same time.
We are so blessed to have him in our family. I know that every parent says and feels this way but I really don't know what we would do without him in our family. I can't wait to see wha the next year has in store.
Happy Birthday Jacob!!!!