Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Jesse is Five Years Old Today
This morning, my two year old, Annie, crawled into bed beside her brother, Jesse, and sang Happy Birthday softly into his ear while he lay sleeping. Then she covered his face in kisses. To my great surprise, he woke with a smile and did not punch her. Ah, what a start to a day...
Five years ago Jesse George Veasey was born. With a C-section scheduled for 6:30 a.m, Kip and I stayed up until 3:00 a.m. working at the studio, making sure I could take a brief maternity leave. We did this because we thought that I would be "resting" in the hospital after giving birth and could catch up on needed rest then. If I had known I would not sleep again for the next five years, I might have done things differently.
The first year with Jesse was all about tremendous change. He was a colicky baby who demanded constant attention and who never slept. It amazed us how someone so small could carve out such huge spaces in our lives: and then fill them with emotions we'd never felt before. Every aspect of our lives became forever different: the hours we worked, what we did at home, the company we kept; all priorities shifting dramatically. The only constant was our love for eachother.
Year one crawled by, mostly because we moved in some type of shocked slow motion--fearful of simple things like washing his face properly. In his second year we rediscovered our own sense of humor, and when Kip leaned over the changing table to retrieve a fallen diaper while Jesse was in the throws of suffering from a gastrointestinal bug, and pooped right on TOP of Kip's bent head: we were able to laugh about it. Ok, I was able to laugh about it. Kip was able to forgive me for laughing.
Years three through five passed in the blink of an eye. Now accustomed to weathering the winds of change, we found more joy than fear in the birth of Annie, the starting of school, the significant passages and milestones as he grew from toddler to boy. We have tried to be present; knowing those moments will never come again.
And now he is five. He believes that as of today his shirts will no longer fit properly and he should give them to his little sister. He has decided he will perform all bathroom duties by himself and in private, but that he will still require the presence of either Kip or myself to fall asleep. In the middle of the night, awakened by a bad dream, he asks that one of us hold his hand softly til he falls back asleep. He still calls me "Mama" and runs to me when I appear. He still holds my hand to cross the street. I can still almost fit him across my lap and hug him tight, although gangly legs and arms now stick out in every direction. He has signed up for Tball, and recently began pretend shaving with bath foam each day.
His biggest fear used to involve clowns~which Kip and I both found rationale and understandable. Now, he is afraid of balloons. He had asked me in passing what happened to balloons that children accidentally lost or let go of. Without really thinking, I told him that they flew up to Heaven and became presents for the loved ones we had up there. I don't know why this disturbed him as greatly as it did, but he now refuses to have anything at all to do with balloons for fear of losing them; and cannot look at an errant one trapped against a ceiling or in a tree without great distress. He remains complicated. Kip says he resembles his mother in this way.
He likes superheros and Ancient Egypt. He makes amazing drawings and tells outlandish stories. He's working on the letters and numbers; but excelling in drama and will make his debut as Pig #1 in the Three Little Pigs soon. He surprises us daily with flashes of deep empathy. I say he resembles his father in this way.
I could go on forever talking about my bear, my sweet sweet boy. But we will be taking the day off for mini golf and bowling-and it is much more important to get out of here and to be with him. Happy Birthday Jesse. You are so very loved.