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jackson's tenth birthday

wait...what?  ten?  seriously?  i feel like i just wrote these words.  turns out that was five years ago.  half his life ago.  how the flippin' flip did that happen?

however the wide and wild world of science and time want to explain it away, the truth is that it happened.  somehow, our oldest son has been beating out his own heartbeat in this crazy world for ten full years.  the last week and a half have been more or less dedicated to celebrating the insane reality of that with grandparents and cakes and presents and special meals and phone calls from singing aunts, uncles and cousins, just to name some of the festivities.  it's been fun.

and it's all been for jack.  our budding little artist, who loves sketching so much that he wanted his mother to make him a sketchbook birthday cake, which she artfully obliged, as you can see below.

i love birthdays for lots of reasons, but primary among them is that they give you the chance to pause the relentless racing pace of time and acknowledge what the breakneck speed of the rest of the year often doesn't give you the chance to: the deep, profound, gut-wrenching, ever-growing love you have for your beloveds.

and so i have.  i love this young man, all 10 years of him.  he is full of life and hope and innocence.  he loves sugar with an unmatched passion.  and his love affair with mustard has already been well documented (and celebrated).  he is such a sensitive and compassionate kid, feeling the hurt and pain of others deeply.  where he has begun to taste more of the brokenness of life which childhood shields us from, my heart has broken along with his.  where the simplest of things bring tears to his eyes, my heart weeps, too, because of my inability to protect him from hurt, from disappointment, from all the sharp edges lying everywhere in this broken world.  still, with ten years under his belt, i can do nothing but celebrate 3,600-some days that God has given him so far, because they've been full of wonder and discovery and adventure and dreams and dares and dancing (lots of dancing).  he has been given time to learn, to build, to draw, to collect dead bugs and eat copious amounts of yellow condiments.  in short, he has lived these first ten years really well, and i am so dang proud of him that i can't really contain it.  i have to find some little space on this world wide web and shout it out the best i know how:  love, love  LOVE!  i love this little man with every bit of my being.  and i can't wait for the next ten, just to see how this gift of life gets lived in deeper and brighter and wilder ways.  happy birthday, jackson.


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