I have an eight year old.
His name is Jake.
I love him so much.
We all do.
He's a pretty amazing person.
A few nights ago I was saying good night to the boys and had climbed up to Jake's top bunk to give him a final hug and kiss. He was sleepy, almost dreaming, when I whispered to him, "Oh Jake, I love you so much. I could never even put it into words how much I love you." In a tired, not-really-paying-attention voice, Jake said, "Sideways eight. You love me like a sideways eight symbol: infinity. It never ends." And that's Jake. He'd put it into words, and only with the slightest half-sleeping effort.
Earlier tonight at his birthday dinner, our family was sharing the things we love about Jake. Between Justin and me and Jake's siblings, various things were mentioned, ranging from silly to serious. One thing that Justin mentioned about his son, one of the things he loves about him, is how Jake is growing into a boy of such character -- a boy who loves what is true, who seeks justice, who desires to encourage others, who is honest even when it doesn't serve himself. I agree. I delight in his gifts, but I delight even more in his character.
Mothers always say this, and it's always true. I can't believe how old you are. I can't believe you're eight. You are a gift from God entrusted to me, and I thank Him for making you and giving you to Daddy and me.
I want to share with you a story that in many ways describes who you are. One day I think you'll read it and find it funny. Daddy and I were planning a surprise for you for your birthday. No party this year. Instead we were taking you and your siblings on a short little overnight trip to a water park.
A few days before this trip, you sat with me on the couch and said, "Mom, I'm so excited for this surprise. And I really want to wait. But I think I know what the surprise might be, and if it's what I think, I'm going to pass out from excitement. Are you... are you taking me to a Bob Dylan concert?"
No. No Bob Dylan concert, my son. Maybe one day. For now, all the live Bob Dylan music we hear will be coming from you. And I will enjoy every minute of it. You have provided the sweetest soundtrack to life, Jake.
We love you and thank God for your life. Happy Birthday, my son!