Today you are 12.
I remember rocking you in the recliner and watching television which we did quite often that first year, and hearing the kids in the neighborhood heading off to their first day of school. I couldn't imagine ever doing that with you and here we've been doing it seven years now. I also remember thinking when I heard that strange little girl who always ding-dong ditched us that she had just turned twelve and WOW, it would be forever before you were that old.
Forever is here, Baby.
I think you are now too old for the whole, you-wear-size 8-pants post. So I will try this:
These twelve years have not been easy for me. You were not the baby I imagined when I was little and dressed my female baby dolls. You didn't easily fit into my life plan by playing at said times and eating at said times and, most especially, sleeping at set times. I thought I would lose my mind that first year, and maybe I did briefly. I was very much a Type A personality with a little person who wouldn't allow that. I am so sorry for all those nasty words you learned because of that.
I tried so hard to make you fit into the perfect mold because everyone around me told me you weren't right. I took that to be a reflection of myself and I didn't want any of those perfect strangers to think poorly of me, so I worked and pushed and cried and screamed to get your square peg into the world's circle hole. For years. I didn't see what I really had right in front of me. You. The real you. I am sorry for that too.
Jacob, I now know that your brain is wired differently. I still don't understand the mass of information thrown at us about it, but I know I should have told all those well-meaning "friends" years ago to get off your case and let you be you.
I am proud of the way that you deal with this difference every day. Others may have given up years ago, but you keep on trucking and doing what you have to do even when it frustrates you beyond reason. You try to find the good in others even when there isn't much to be found. You spread the gospel even where it isn't cool to do so. You attempt to ignore those who don't respect that you are living your own life.
I am sorry for what you have dealt with in the "Christian" school this week. I am sorry that you have dealt with that for so long. Truly, Jacob, we really thought we were doing what was best for you, smaller classes, less kids, Christian values. I thought I was protecting you from the big bad world out there, but instead I was throwing you into it. I am still afraid of what public school will bring, but I think you can handle it. You are 12 now. Mama doesn't have to fix it for you.
In six years you will be an adult. I cannot even fathom that now, but it will sneak up on us quickly just as twelve did. My wish is that we can all accept and boost "YOU" while helping you learn what you need to be a decent adult. I hope you use your high IQ and bring up your grades and go to a wonderful university *cough* West Virginia *cough*, but you know what? God really doesn't care if you make all As. I don't think he really cares if you memorize every scripture in the Bible. I think what matters is that you become a nice, caring, good person who spreads love and kindness wherever he goes and I know you can do that. Please don't let a few small-minded people drag you down, Baby. You are too special for that.
Thank you for relieving me of my Type A personality. I really wasn't that happy that way. I know that is one of the reason's God sent you to me.
Happy Birthday Jacob! I love you.