February 05, 2016


My oldest child just turned 17 yesterday.
Doesn't 17 seem so much older than 16?  It's so close to 18 and 20 and manhood...

In a house with many children, those oldest kids are given a lot of responsibility.  As an oldest child myself, I've tried to shield him from feeling like it was his responsibility to raise our children.  But, that feeling of responsibility just naturally comes.  Jakob really does help me raise my family.  His example is powerful and oh how I have relied on his physical stamina (especially when I'm not feeling well).

Jakob has always been my social child.  He's active at school and has a lot of friends.  Since we've moved to New York, he's been home more.  I love his calm, disciplined presence in our home.  He is a good, good kid.

Jakob sings with the select choir at school, he plays varsity soccer, he's on the robotics team, teen institute, and plays the Guitar, French Horn, and the piano.  He has a little angus bull named Mignon that he cares for daily.  And, he loves to play a few rounds of Super Smash Brothers with his dad and siblings at night before he goes to bed.  (Usually, I put the B Team to bed while the A Team finishes up their homework and the kitchen.  They play a couple rounds of Super Smash and I convince them to watch one episode of Blue Bloods with me.)

Jakob is a good cook.  He's not afraid to follow a recipe.  For his birthday he got a bread cookbook and I'm excited to taste his experiments!

Jakob is really smart.  He's gotten straight A's his whole life and is currently ranked 4th in his grade for his GPA.  He is independent.  I've never had to wake him up or tell him to study or remind him of upcoming events or help him with an essay.  This kid was born more responsible than I am.  I honestly just watch him and feel grateful that he's mine.
It's not just that I love him because he's my baby grown up.  I like him.  I admire him.  I learn from him.  I'm proud of who he is becoming and know that he came this way.

I worry about him too.  Poor child has always gotten the brunt of my parenting intensity.  I'm never sure that I'm doing things right with my oldest.  I get so worried about little things that I have to force myself to step back and see the big picture.  

I'm hard on him, maybe too hard.
He's got a lot of responsibility, maybe too much.
He is surrounded by little kids all the time, that's fun and overwhelming at times.

Oh, Jakob.
Thank you!  Thanks for being the best oldest child a mother could ask for.  Thanks for being a darling big brother and a natural peace maker.  Thanks for vacuuming the floor anytime I ask and cleaning up the grossest messes that make me gag.  Thanks for making me laugh and for sharing your strength when I'm tired.

I brought  balloons and a Burger King lunch up to the HighSchool for his birthday.  Jakob was sitting at a table with all girls, bundled up in his coat with his backpack on.  He said he wasn't feeling well and I felt his head, he was burning up.  He said he was sick but wanted to take his quiz in AP Biography.  I suggested he come home with me.  The nurse had to take his temp and it was 102.

Jakob came home and poured his Oreo shake into cups to share with his little brother and sisters.  He collected sheets, pillows, blankets, tissues, and a trash can and made himself a sick bed on the couch.  He found Johnny English on Netflix and yelled for me and Ellie (who is also home with a fever) to come watch it with him.
We had wonton soup and egg rolls for dinner because everyone is a little sick.

Jakob, he's good.
I love him.
I feel humbled as my children grow.  My body worked with God and Todd to create their bodies, but I did not create their souls.

Jakob came wise.  
17 is so close to 18, 19, 20.
It's hard to fathom.
I know that I will miss his presence in our home as he grows up.
Happy Birthday Kid.
You are loved.


L said...

Happy Birthday Jakob!

Wenni Donna said...

Oh my goodness!! This 17th birthday bash looks terrific. Everyone seems super excited. Thanks for the pictures dear. Well, I have also been looking for the party venue NYC for my son’s 16th birthday party. Please suggest some venues!! Also share some party theme ideas.

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