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Jack is 4

Every year these social media posts become increasingly shocking to post; how in the world is my first-born -my first baby- four years old?!? It sometimes feels like just yesterday I was just growing him in my body, and other times it feels like so many days and memories have filled that space in between that it feels like he's always been part of my life.

Nobody provides more of a roller-coaster of emotion for me than Jack; sometimes I feel great frustration and exhaustion through the whining and incessant question-asking, and other times I feel like my heart is going to burst when he chooses kindness or I'm going to melt into a puddle when he tells me he loves me out of the blue. During his bedtime prayers, he will often ask God to "take care of the people who don't have a home or food in their bellies", and more times than not it makes me cry.

Jack continues to be interested in anything with wheels or a motor. His latest obsession the past couple months has been Lego's, which he enjoys building with his dad. He loves waking his little sister up in the morning, often climbing in her crib to greet her. (She is totally smitten with him, and finds NOBODY funnier or more amusing). He LOVES family time- and I love that he is bold and secure enough to spend time with family outside of mom, dad, & sister. While he asks to turn on his "blue light" (AKA essential oil diffuser) in his bedroom every night, he is also going through a phase of wanting to sleep on the couch. He still enjoys a good bath, and has never given us trouble about brushing his teeth or any of the other basic hygiene care.

He's still into waffles- blueberry is a current favorite. He digs "spicy chips"- AKA Doritos. Still loves bacon (duh) & apple juice. Some recent commentary includes:

"What snacks did you eat on the airplane"

"Paw Patrol lives in Las Vegas with Blippi"

"Mama, are we lost?"

"You're not my best friend"

"Where'd you get those shoes? Marshalls?"

He probably asks 5,296 questions a day. Sometimes they're funny, sometimes they're repetitive, & sometimes they're questions I wonder myself.

Jack has inspired me to be the best possible version of myself, because his words/behavior have shown me that my words/actions will be mirrored back to me.

I don't think I knew anxiety before becoming his mother. While I've always typically been a positive, look-on-the-bright-side type of person, being a mom means thinking of all the bad things that can happen and sometimes it's flat-out overwhelming. Most of the time it isn't. Motherhood is funny that way.

Growing up, my Dad constantly told me: "when you have a kid of your own, you'll understand this is harder on me than it is on you" in regards to punishment, maintaining boundaries, and upholding rules, and he's right- I get it.

Here are some portraits we took today to celebrate his birthday milestone. I had been out of the country for a week, and of course had not thought about it before leaving, so this was essentially my only opportunity. I spotted the mural as we were leaving our usual breakfast spot- Mi Apa Latin Cafe- and made a mental note. I wasn't sure what the lighting situation would be when we returned, or if any vehicles would be blocking the mural, but we got lucky. (PS- still thoroughly enjoying the murals designed as part of the 352walls project!) . I'm lucky he still lets me dress him, barely protests, and overall poses and smiles as I ask.

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