[caption id="attachment_253" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Happy Birthday Jake!"][/caption]
It seems like just yesterday I was bringing you home from the hospital. Seven years ago I was blessed with my ginger-haired boy, and you have continued to bless my life to this day.
[caption id="attachment_256" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Happy as can be"][/caption]
You were such a delight as a baby...always smiling! You still have the same sweet smile now, always eager to show us how happy you are.
Despite those dominant genes from your dad's side, you got Mommy's red hair and green eyes. You also got my bright smile, and much to your disdain, my freckles. You've got character kiddo, and that's something that nobody can take away from you.
Over the years, you've always been the "accident-prone" kid. Sure, your sister and brother have had their share of boo-boos, but you definitely have caused my heart to drop more than once!
When you were first walking, I remember leaving you with Mom-Mom, my grandmother, so I could go work at Mrs. Mary's house. Mom-Mom called me, in a panic, and said that I should come back as soon as I could. She said you had touched the inside of her oven door and that your hand had been burnt. I was thinking to myself, "Eh, it's probably just a tiny blister on his finger", because she said that you cried for a minute, but had stopped crying already. Lo and behold, when I got there and saw just how bad it was, I panicked too! The entire palm of your hand had been burnt! We got you all fixed up, and the doctor gave us some great burn relief cream, and you healed soon enough. Turns out your baby brother is alot like you...he ran with his arms outstretched (in his walker) straight for the oven door the other day! Scared me half to death!
Just a few months after that, when you were just shy of 2 years old, you were playing with the keyboard drawer on your sister's desk. You pulled it out onto your face, causing a gash just below your eyebrow. My goodness, I've never seen so much blood! You gave me a big scare, and somehow I managed to collect myself, get you picked up, your sister and your brother ready to go out the door so they could stay at your Aunt Cary's house while I got you to the emergency room. You were such a fighter...it took four of us to hold you down while they stitched you up! You still have a slight scar from that today, but it didn't seem to phase you a bit!
[caption id="attachment_258" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="This was taken right after you peed all over my lap at your Uncle Danny's wedding."][/caption]
When you were around 3.5 years old, you were out playing around and you tripped and fell...right on your front tooth! You still have a black front tooth, because you knocked it loose and the tooth died. Your dentist said it was no big deal and we would just have to wait for it to fall out in time. Since you've already lost your front two bottom teeth, I imagine it's just a matter of weeks or even days until the dead tooth is finally gone!
Somewhere around the same time, you were bit in the face by a dog. I wasn't there at the time, and apparently you didn't need stitches. Just yet another example of how you're my tough little guy. Sure, you might cry when it hurts, but never for very long! I'm sure that there will be many more times during the course of your childhood in which you will give me a scare! That's part of being a mom I guess, and I'm so lucky to have the opportunity to be YOUR mommy.
You only remember life as it has been for the past couple of years...memories of you being with me a majority of the time are cloudy in your young mind, sometimes made clearer with stories we tell when we're all together. I'm so glad you were too young to remember all the bad that happened when you were just a baby, and in alot of ways, YOU are the reason that I put a stop to all the bad.
[caption id="attachment_260" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Playing in the pool at the Ron Jon Resort"][/caption]
You were not planned, but you were definitely wanted by me. Your birth was a wakeup call to me to take charge of my life. Now I had two little men who would need to see a positive example of what a dad should be as they are growing up. It was time for me to stop the cycle, and do everything in my power to create an environment of peace and love for you and your siblings to grow up in. Although things didn't end up the way I would have liked for them to, it's not the end.
Even though you're not "the baby" of the family anymore, you'll always be my baby. I'll do my best to not treat you like the baby you once were, but it's hard for me to see you guys growing up so fast. I hope that on this day, your birthday, that you are celebrating and having an awesome day!
Mommy loves you, and I wish you could be here with us today as we celebrate the past 7 years of your life!
[caption id="attachment_261" align="aligncenter" width="202" caption="All Grown Up!"][/caption]