You are my golden boy. The man with a thousand nicknames. Jax. Jackie. Jackie Blake. Luscious Lips. Big Man on Campus. Little Bear. My mans and them. Butter Bean. Bean. The Bean with Butter. I sure love you.
I love the way your eyes crinkle when you smile. I love seeing my own knobby knees on the body of a little boy. I love your long lean limbs, still easy for me to lift and carry if I wanted to.
Of all of my babies, you are the most like me. Maybe that’s why you make me the most crazy. You have selective hearing. When I’m in a hurry it seems as if you are walking backwards. You cry too easily and rage too easily. Like me you don’t handle your emotions well. And like me you are highly empathetic. You are the first to comfort mommy if she is down. Once we took a walk around the block. Suddenly you had stopped in your tracks and were staring sadly at a tree stump. What’s wrong? I asked. Your little body sighed deeply and replied, Why would anyone cut this tree down? I laughed at the time, but I was also moved by your sensitivity.
When you were smaller, say 2 or 3, I always marveled at how intuitive you were. If you were napping and I happened to move around and set out some new decor, immediately upon waking you’d notice and compliment me. Just this morning you stepped out of the car and took a deep breath. This is just the perfect weather you said I’m not hot and I’m not cold. I feel just right.
Jaxon, I love your assurance. Daddy and I have talked about the NBA enough that you accept it as fact for your future. I love that even at your age you resolve to cut sugar and eat more vegetables so that you can make it to the league. You are constantly promising me a house with a big backyard, a swimming pool and the dog of my choice. I love hearing you talk about these things because you have such a confidence in your voice. I laugh to remember the time that we were seated at a red light. Whoah, I heard you say, when I’m in the NBA I’m going to get me one of those! I looked to the left to see a classic white mini-van. I saw it through your eyes and realized that it could be pretty cool.
I love watching your talents develop. You have always been a baller, but you throw a mean spiral as well. You have a knack for numbers that you definitely didn’t get from me, and you are developing as an artist with an eye for detail. You took quickly to baseball. I love watching you play every single one of those t-ball games. The way you dance has always made me laugh; seeing those tiny hips swish back and forth so rapidly. I have always looked forward to watching your sister play volleyball, but yesterday at the banquet you passed three balls in serve receive. I couldn’t believe it! Could you be an olympian???
I feel such a special affection for you; different than the girls. Is it because you are my only son? Probably. I just know that when I see your sweet face I want to gather you up in my arms and protect you from this world. I hope you will always be the gentleman you are.
You have such confidence in me. It is you who follows me around as I attempt a Beach Body workout and cheers me on when I collapse to the ground. You who hugs me when I break down crying over an especially heartfelt performance on World of Dance. You who tells me I’m the best mom ever when I surprise you with Grinch pancakes. While your big sister tests me and pushes me, you pull closer. You are so confident that you’ll never leave home. You only want to be with me.
Son, what I want you to know is that I adore you, not for what you may become, but for who you are. You are a child of God. You are capable of so much. And what matters is not that you are a basketball player or a baseball player or a carpenter or a chef. What matters is that you treat people with love and respect; exactly like the love and respect that you have always shown me. That you use your empathy to be a good husband, father, son, brother, neighbor and friend.
You, my son, are the child of a king and I am so grateful to be your mother.