Eight the Great

Becoming a parent to older children seemed to happen over night. One day, Jack and Zoe were small and the next they were grown. It’s like the newborn phase all over again with that glowy haze of uncertainty and moments stockpiled with new discoveries, reaching and moving and learning together. Navigating childhood with Jack has been a journey that’s left me a bit bleary. The challenges and triumphs we’ve faced and overcome together from the very beginning are the essence of life; gritty and yet matched with the unrelenting peace that comes with lessons learned, absorbed. He possesses a quiet wisdom that he’s earned, and he is far beyond his years. BT4A9387BT4A9351BT4A9379BT4A9321 My first baby, he has paved the way for his brother and sisters better than I could have ever hoped for them, or for me. Birthdays are a big deal for Jack. In the weeks surrounding January 24th, he is excited and emotional and full of anticipation. Beautifully exhausting. He requested that Hannah, his first real friend since he was just a baby, be at his laser tag party with the 8 other boys he invited. She came, just as she always does, to support him. He received a birthday text message from his best friend from Kindergarten in New York City, another little girl that he built the most special bond with. Both relationships have withstood the test of time and distance, regardless of their age and gender. They are thick as thieves and I sense they always will be. BT4A7705 At home Beau and Zoe rally around him. They regard him as the leader of their pack, their guide, their friend. The one that will steer the sibling ship while making fart jokes. He’s fiercely competitive, incredibly thoughtful, compassionate and sensitive so much so that it threatens to deter him. I’m not quite sure what the next chapter holds now that we’re officially big kids, and as much as it aches to see him getting so big, it’s exciting and amazing watching him getting more and more comfortable in his skin. His growing confidence is my soul food. Parenthood is ever evolving. I’m standing in the center of what feels like a merry-go-round. I am a solid, steady source, the anchor around which they are circulating, the highs, lows, and the blur of movement in between. BT4A8986 He’s eight now, he is my everything and I have loved (almost) every minute of this journey.

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  • Aww, I’ve been looking forward to this post a lot, Jessica! πŸ™‚ Jack is such a special boy! Beautiful words for your wonderful oldest!

  • Awww… my eldest daughter just turned 9, and as much as I love the person she is becoming, I miss my little girl, I miss her innocence, I miss her cuddles (she still cuddles but not as often).
    But like you I enjoy every minute of it… I just wish I could stop time sometimes or make it longer.

  • He is a force, gentle and wise.

    I am utterly dazzled by older kids. They make me laugh and cry and shake my head in the best and worst ways. Happy happy days to you, may the merry go round always sing a happy tune.

  • I had my first child, also a boy, in August. He is almost 6 months old now and I already miss his early months. They change so fast… I can already see I’ll wake up one day and he’ll be 8 too. Trying to enjoy every minute as I’m sure you did/are!

  • thank you for your posts – your honesty and raw emotion are so very… rare? is that the right word? to read on these crazy interwebs. your sentiment about being the center of a merry-go-round really speaks to me this morning, as my almost-four-year-old is trying to conquer everything at once: anticipating his first day of preschool next Monday, still adjusting to having a baby brother, and just the general growing and changing and developing at this age. being the oldest is certainly a responsibility that’s all his own, just like your jack, I suppose. it’s hard some days (and we’ve got just two kids!) to just… be. for now, though, thanks to your honest words, I’m going to imagine myself on king arthur’s carousel in fantasyland at Disneyland… a happy monday to you and a happy birthday to your oldest!

  • I can see in Jack his sensitivity. He is hyper aware and has a lot going on inside him. I was the same. I wonder if he is creative or artistic. It is hard being sensitive in this loud world. He clearly has a great big loving heart. It is a lot being the oldest sinling. Jack is the troubled Sage, his sister is a child of the world ready to go, Beau has the rare light of pure joy beaming out of him, he is a traveler. And the baby, she will probably be the rock. Thank you for sharing your love, your family.

  • Happy Birthday Jack!

    And I hope Hannah really rocked at laser tag. πŸ™‚

  • “Thick as thieves” – I like that, you give good blog Momma.

  • Happy Birthday Jack!! I am definitely feeling you on the mom to older kids thing. My youngest is seven…SEVEN! How is that yesterday I had three kids under the age of 4 and now I’m that mom with big kids? Crazy!

  • What a great kid!! All of our kids our special but there is this certain bond with your eldest. He looks wise beyond his years and I can tell he loves his Mom. Enjoy this because almost no one escapes the teen years without some bumps and scrapes – you still have till about 9th grade with a boy, girls maybe a little sooner with the teens stuff.
    It is literally a blink. My sons are now 24 and 19, where did time go? – I love them dearly. Still have a work in progress with the 19 year old. I wish I could say it gets easier – the physical labor gets easier I guess. The mental stuff gets harder – the old adage “little kids, little problems – big kids, big problems” true! I will make you feel good though – my oldest son in grad school now and making me so proud – calls me almost every single day – we have some great and deep conversations.
    I look at your posts and your Instagram and I it makes me remember when we were just us four and no drama. My boys happy as larks and life while busy pretty smooth. Not saying teen stuff horrible just much harder and much harder to fix things for them and you have to let them go to fight their own fights and make their way in the world. Love this period your in, cherish it….. Thanks for bringing me a smile.

  • Happy Birthday to your beautiful boy. My sweet boy turned 8 on January 25th. I still see that tiny little infant when I look at him. It goes by so quickly. You truly have a beautiful family.

  • I absolutely love your writings and pictures. This one in particular made me tear up a bit. They do grow up in the blink of an eye. My baby boy is going to be 29 this year and I seriously cannot fathom where the time has gone. Treasure every moment, all of you! β™‘

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