Guess who is seven months old today?
That’s right! Our sweet Jack.
And he is simply full of growth, change and giggles.
Physically, like any baby does, Jack is growing and growing and growing.... His Mama-Milk pudge is still very much with him, and he is only getting fuller as he enjoys new tastes and treats. Jack began eating “solids” at the start of the year and we have yet to discover one he doesn’t like. Granted, we go quite slowly with introducing foods; so far Jack has only tasted sweet potatoes, oatmeal, carrots, bananas and avocados. And, with just this limited diet, we have discovered that Jack is definitely is his mama’s boy: He loves his carbs!
Oh, how Jack opens his mouth wide and moves forward to devour oatmeal off his spoon with so much more vigor than he does mere fruits and veggies, which he happily consumes– just not with the gusto that he does his oatmeal. No matter what is on the spoon, though, it is so much fun to feed Jack. There is almost no spitting and lots of satisfied smiles (unlike feeding Nina and Luke who both spit more often as babies and now, after happy babyhood consumption of fruits and vegetables, balk at most produce put in front of them.) Please, may Jack’s non-fussy eating habits continue always…
And may we always see Jack’s now-toothed grin. Yep, he’s got a tooth in there… The little sharpie surprised us since it came up with so little drama. (As babies, both Nina and Luke had had nights where they woke up with piercing screams of seemingly inexplicable origin that Mike and I only, later, discovered, were from their teeth cutting through.) With Jack, a small cold and a lot of extra night nursing were the only precursors to the first-tooth milestone. Indeed, Jack broke his first tooth the way he does many things – in a quiet, tender way.
Speaking of milestones, Jack has yet to creep and crawl, but he has taken to spinning and reaching to get things. In fact, as I type this, he has spun himself around and is intent on getting a small rugby ball that Luke and Nina left out. When he does things like this, it is so much fun to watch his concentration as he sets his eyes on something and goes for it whole-heartedly. When I take the time to observe Jack at his “work”, I marvel at how people are born to concentrate, to learn through exploration, to reach out… When do we un-learn such instincts and why? What is it that fractures our concentration, stunts our desire to explore and makes us fearful of reaching out? I’m not completely sure, but I pray I can figure it out before whatever it is affects Jack.
Truly, as I reflect on the past seven months and this delight-filled bundle in front of me now, I am simply grateful for our “surprise” third child. I may not be able to give Jack the 100% focus I gave Luke at his age, nor share with him the mother-daughter bond that Nina and I have come to know, but I can treasure our snippets of one-to-one moments and affirm that Jack continues to be an incredible gift for our family.
Luke loves that “we can give Jack lots of hugs and kisses.” Nina cannot wake or go to sleep without spending a special moment with him. Daddy adores holding him. And me? I am rediscovering the value of concentration, exploration and reaching out again myself as I savor the pleasure of observing Jack.
Large, curious eyes. Contentment. Giggles. Occasional babble. We delight in them. And we are blessed by the fact that Jack is one of those babies that rarely cries or fusses unless he truly has a need – and even then he seems to demonstrate an unusual (for a baby) sense of patience and tolerance.
Tonight, as I look at Jack with wonder and thanksgiving, I also say a prayer on his seventh month birthday: Son, may you always know the inner calm and outward peace you shine with. May the grace of contentment always teach those around you that innate joy is a gift to be savored and shared.