Oh my gracious. Today, Master John Paul turns nine. NINE! He is such a bright spot in our house. There is no doubt about that. Nine years ago when the doctor told me one last push, she turned to grab something and the nurse yelled out, “Dr. B, turn around, I’m holding his head!” That boy was ready to make an entrance, by golly, whether the OB was ready or not.
It was such an awesome day. We went from a family of three, to four. Or, as my husband likes to say, we went to man-to-man defense. I became the momma of boys, as in plural. What a fun life it is to be John Paul’s mom.
We also had our first Level II NICU stay with John Paul (pictured below). I was scared out of my mind, but looking back, I know it was really no big shake. He stayed there one night for observation because they were concerned about his heartbeat. Turns out he had an innocent murmur. It’s all but gone now.
There are not enough ‘thank you’s’ I can tell God for sharing you with our family. You are, hands down, the most mischievous child ever. You have an uncanny ability to get into massive trouble, blame it on a sibling and still get me to believe it was someone else except you. That is talent, my friend.
You are a magnet for the ER. You’ve been seven times – stitches, staples, dermabond – and caused two more. But never once have you spilled a tear. You are one tough kid. Well, except when you get beat on Wii Madden Football. The tears that ensue then sound as if we’re amputating a limb without anesthesia.
I love how you ask SO MANY QUESTIONS. Just last week, you finally solved the riddle. From the back seat of the van I hear, “Mom, do you know why I ask so many questions?” Dumbfounded, I shake my head. You answer, “Because you get more answers when you ask.” Well, duh.
Every morning you wake up and start off a conversation with some sports trivia. Your all-time favorite teams are the Aggies and the Jets. I still have no idea on the latter. You have piles and piles of baseball and football cards. I strongly believe you have developed a complicated and intricate filing system. I’m just not sure you’ve shared it with the rest of the family. It’s possible you don’t want to know where I find your beloved cards.
You are a math whiz. Thank goodness I have you to help with your sister’s second grade math. She listens so much better when you’re the teacher. Your art projects still amaze me. You spend hours sketching anything and everything. It reminds me of your Papa. He’s quite the artist, too. That’s a trait that runs in our family and it’s so stinking fun to see you develop your own mark in this world.
You’re the only lefty in the family and I think it’s super endearing that you’re lobbying for Luke to be a lefty, too. At least once a week I catch you putting a pencil in his hand and saying, “No, Luke. This is how you write left-handed.”
Even though you cause mischief, you are every sibling’s favorite. I think it’s because you find the fun in everything you do. Raking the leaves? Let’s make it a game and see how fast you can do it. Putting up laundry? Oh mom, can I borrow your shirt folder? It’s as if God gave you a different lens in which the view the world. You know what I think? I think he gave you 3D glasses. So when the world sees something bleh, it passes most of us by, but you? You see the endless possibilities.
I have no doubt your love for living will serve you well in life my big man. Just remember to change your underwear, brush your teeth and occasionally put on clean clothes. You know, for kicks and grins.
Thank you for making motherhood so fun.