Dear Jackson,

July 6, 2011

Has it really been two years already?

Filed under: 1 year-old - 2 years-old — aJOHNymous @ 2:18 pm

We just put you to bed about an hour ago and now I’m lying in bed trying to figure out a way to properly start this letter. I was hoping to start it sooner, but work got in the way. Stupid work. Anyway, it’s hard to believe that in just about two hours, you’ll officially be two years old. I try to look back on that night and it’s already a bit hazy. I have to rely more and more on the information that I put in my very first letter to you. It’s not that I’m intentionally trying to forget, it’s more like life has really been pretty fast lately and I haven’t really had as much time to focus on memory construction. Regardless, you’re two now and I think you had a pretty nice birthday.

I can’t really speak to most of the day (I worked from home and you went to work with your mom) but I was told you joyfully received a balloon and a cupcake at some point during the day. I was able to meet up with you, your mom, and her parents for dinner, though, so that was nice. Afterward we took you out to get some ice cream and then we got you ready for bed. It was a pretty low-key birthday, but that’s only because your mom has another bash set up for you this Saturday. A fair amount of friends and family will be stopping over to enjoy a taco bar and celebrate your second year of pants-shitting. It should be a pretty good time. Spoiler alert: you’re getting a huge swing set for the backyard.

Today also marks the last big holiday for you as an only child. You’re less than a month away from becoming something your mom and I will never get to experience: you’re going to be a big brother to a little brother or sister. No more spoiled only child treatment for you, buddy. You’re going to have to learn to share pretty quickly. I imagine it’ll be quite difficult for you to get used to the fact that you’re no longer the center of attention, but I really hope you come around sooner rather than later. That’s really my biggest concern; that you’ll get jealous and act out. The terrible two have arrived and I’m seriously frightened of what that could potentially mean for us. But that’s another bridge we’ll have to cross when we get there. For now, we’re still preparing for the impending arrival.

I should also mention that your mom had her last ultrasound today and everything is looking great. The baby is in the proper position and he/she is measuring and weighing pretty much right on target. To put it a bit simpler: we’re at a go for launch. Yikes. This is actually happening. It probably won’t fully hit me until I’m standing in the delivery room and I hear that familiar first cry of life. And that thought is what stifles my fear and makes me smile.

And just so I can have this on record—we’re nearly settled on names. We definitely have the girl’s name picked out and we’re almost in agreement on a boy’s name. We want to avoid having another child born and living with the name Baby Poppe for the first few days of his/her life (sorry about that, Jackson). I have to admit that I think we learned a lot from you and these last two years have been quite eye-opening. Not to say you’re a pain in the ass or anything, it just seems like we’re so much better prepared for your sibling to arrive than we were for you. We know what works and what doesn’t now so we should be able to handle issues a bit easier than with you. But like I already mentioned, that’s going to take a bit of help from you as well. You’re going to need to realize that the new baby means less time with your mom, and more time with me. I have little doubt that it’ll be difficult for you, but we’ll handle it. I think it’ll probably help you and I get closer. We’ve already had to put you back in a pack & play at night because we were all so desperate for sleep. You just weren’t ready for a big boy bed yet. But you know what? That’s a lesson we can use to better gauge when you’re sibling is ready to make that transition so in a way, it all works out in the long run.

So with all of that said, I just want to wish you a happy second birthday, son. It’s been a wonderful two years so far and I look forward to watching you grow up. I find that it’s happening at a much quicker pace now, and that does sadden me a bit. But soon enough we’ll be able to do all the fun stuff that I’ve been dreaming of doing with my son since before you were even born. It’s all uphill from here, kid. Just wait until we watch Star Wars together for the first time. Maybe we’ll do that for your fourth or fifth birthday. We’ll see.

Happy birthday, Jackson. I love you, son.

Love,
Dad

PS – I just realized that this could be my last letter to you before your sibling arrives. If so, then I hope this letter proves a fitting conclusion to Part 1 of this epic tome of letters to my children. As I lie here in bed, I can’t help but wonder when I’ll start Part 2 and how I’ll open that first letter. Luck for you, all you have to do is turn the page to find out. But as of this moment, as these words leave my mind, flow throw my fingers, and arrive on the glowing screen in front of me, the next page has not yet been written. I just see a blinking cursor and a lot of empty white space to fill…

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