someone is S I X

you know you have made a wrong when you have tried to do a right when your son on the eve of his birthday right before bed says, "mom, can't wait to wake up to balloons and decorations all over my room like you do every birthday." to preface the last few days leading up to this reminder of my past birthday traditions, i have been so busy at important meetings, making capes for 25 kids, shopping for his birthday party, and surviving on very little sleep because the rest of normal life has also played out.  as i kissed his little face and walked out his door tonight, i thought to myself -- hmm, to just go to sleep would be nice but somehow the day doesn't end now; time to get creative on decorating his room with very little supplies.  i began to gift wrap his new bed (i'll post a picture of it on another post), put up a burlap banner made by my sister and wrote his name all over.

as i was decorating his room tonight, i had the memories of jackson flow through my head.  they all started with the first time i went to the doctors appointment alone to find out i was pregnant with jackson.  i was pleasantly surprised throughout all of his pregnancy how easy of a pregnancy it was.  my fear of having another child that would be physically disabled crossed my mind in the first few appointments but then soon disappeared as each doctor's appointment brought such great news.  i will never forget the calm peace that overcame me as i went into labor with ease. jack was ready to come a few weeks prior to his due date and came so easily.  that fear i had in the start of this adventure with jackson and me turned into courage.  that simple quote from princess diaries comes to mind,

"courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all."  

it has really been jackson and i since the beginning.  those long days in san francisco when we would hang out all day doing fun things and then those late night feedings, were the times we bonded perfectly which foreshadowed our strong relationship we have now.  at times people may say i spend too much time with him, or i go overboard with little holidays we share together or make a bigger deal than i should on the accomplishments he has.  i have explored reasons why i do so and the strongest reason i can come up with is the fact that i savor each day jackson has been in my life.  having lost my first son helps me appreciate having a son here, living, healthy and will keep me from ever becoming complacent or a day not appreciating him.

every moment i have with jackson, i hold close to me and thank our Heavenly Father that he has blessed me to be his mother.  he is such a great boy that has the craving to be a good person.  he tries so hard to do everything right and enjoys a good challenge to keep him interested.  he enjoys making people happy and does so by nose wars, showing off his irish jig, parading his many facial expressions including his new cross-eye one.  he loves it when i lightly scratch his back but in turn loves to give back in anyway he can.  

i still am finding it very difficult to believe that time has passed six years now since he was born.  six years.  in six years someone can serve three missions, graduate from college and then a masters program, a puppy turns into an older dog in six years; so on and so forth.  today we celebrated all of these years of his health, his happiness and most importantly how special he is to all that attended his birthday party.  i had friends that supported his birthday that have known me from day one of being a mom and or single mom.  friends of mine came from miles away to show us their love and support.  as i am about to sink into my pillow, i count these friends and family as true blessings in our lives.  they have allowed me to carry on this courage i once gained over six years ago and throughout this journey of being a single mother.  all of the sacrifices i go through to try to allow jackson to understand how life can be for a child in a normal two-parent home is worth it to me.  any mother knows of this uncompromising love they learn from the moment they hold their child for the first time; you will do everything in your power to do what is right for your son or daughter.  

okay, okay, this is heavy.  i'll lighten it up with some fun pictures off my phone from jackson's party today.

the invites looked like this. 
it was a good time putting his cute "MAD magazine" face on these superheroes bodies

my youngest sister bree volunteered to help me surf with the boys 
so we put together my blue tights, my bottoms, her top, my headband and a cape i made.

jackson helped me decorate his cake.
we found all of his superheroes, cleaned them and then decorated.
silver surfer is on the top but i loved how he wanted to put army men.  he said they were everyone's superheroes!

my sweet friend lisa and baby lyla came! she is a fearless little girl 
who wanted to jump in the waves when i was hanging out with her.

bree and pregnant elise going out to surf

my sweet friends with their one-year-olds.
how did i get so lucky?

taywest being a princess at the party!

we had avengers races!
first the spiderman crawl.
second we did "thor throw" with the bocce balls
then a captain america shield run.
why are kids so cool?

jack made a wish and the kids couldn't be happier to help him.  
cutting the cake was even more exciting having them all want a specific superhero on their piece.

jack received so many amazing gifts from his friends.  he loved all of them.
everyone crowded around him wanting to see even the cards he got and they all tried to read them.  this age is one of my favorites!

the boys playing on thor's board!

his good friend jane wanted to watch jack surf so brady, jane, jack and me went out in the water once everyone left!

jane had some coaxing to get her on a board

this melts me!

brady was so sweet.  he pput his leash around jackson's foot and towed him out to wear jack normally paddles to to save jack some energy.
they were catching waves for an hour before we left.  so fun to watch them both!

jack picked a place to go out to eat but didn't want to leave our house because he wanted to organize all of his new toys so brady grabbed dinner and set up his present to jack!  two soccer goals!
jack was so excited!
we played some soccer and lit a flying lantern. 
most of my family came out to watch it go up to the sky.
it probably was our favorite lantern we have lit for how perfectly it glided up to the sky.

we sure love this boy.  so grateful for him!
happy birthday jackson!

4 lovely notes:

Malia said...

This is so sweet. Melissa you are a wonderful mom.

I love reading about all the wonderful fun things you do with Jack. How could anyone think your loving actions are overboard? We should celebrate parents who want to do fun things with their kids and be so involved - especially considering there are so many children who don't have that.

As a girl who grew up with a single mom and a very absent and inconsistent "Dad" (really the word Dad shouldn't explain him), I think you are doing an incredible job of raising Jack to know how loved he truly is.

Smykolandia said...

Wow. Beautiful worlds. Happy birthday Jackson. You are brave mom!

likeschocolate said...

Love this post! You can never spend too much time with your children. A perfect birthday!

Larsen's said...

You are such a great mom. You and Jackson will always be close and have such a special bond!


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