This blog post is funny and kind of sad at the same time. I won’t be there to celebrate Jack’s 100th birthday. And boy what a sight I would be if I did attend! :O
(Another lovely text exchange I had with Jack…)
Yesterday I made Jack stand against the wall so I could measure him again. In one month he grew another half inch. He’s roughly 6 feet 1 inch, but I’ll have to confirm the exact height. This kid was always in the 100th percentile for height, weight and (sorry Jack) head size. Actually that one trended “off the charts”. Full of brains as I always say.
I started measuring Jack when he was about two. I put some marks way up on the wall (hidden in my walk-in closet) to denote where I thought Jack would be at certain times years from then. I picked a height somewhere close to my mid-chest height and wrote “cry”. Which meant, when he got that big I would certainly cry because he wouldn’t be a baby anymore.
I made marks to show how tall I thought Jack would be when he was 14, 15, 16, etc. Right now, he’s about a quarter inch below the “16 years old” mark. Boy did I underestimate the stretch factor in this kid! I also track what grade he’s in so we can see the growth pattern in a few different ways.
Check out the Growth Spurt Meltdown here when Jack was 5. :O
Now back to this story…
Jack: Why did you write “cry” here?
me: Because I knew I would be so sad when you got bigger than that.
Jack: Did you cry?
me: Not really… I don’t remember actually. (I probably did!)
Jack: Look, I grew only a half inch here, but two inches here.
me: I must have fed you well then. Growth spurts are sort of random it seems.
Jack: When we move we’re totally taking this wall with us.
me: Totally. Sawing it right out of the closet.
Jack: (looking at where I measured myself a few times for comparison) Look, you shrunk since the last time we measured you.
me: And… we’re done here.
Here’s another funny post about a growth spurt and Jack getting in trouble in school…Oy!
And this one about the backwards pants incident and what actually wasn’t a growth spurt, lol.
I’m not sure when the current growing will stop, but man, this is one tall kid. 🙂
And just for fun, a bonus post that talks all about Jack heading into 8th grade. Well, mostly I talk about my 8th grade experience, because I like to talk… and then eventually I get around to some of Jack’s 8th grade news. If you’ve made it this far … THANK YOU!
Down from multiple posts in a week when Jack was 5 and 6… to maybe 1 per week when Jack was 7-10. Then I slowed down a bit more to maybe 2 or 3 posts a month from ages 10-13. Now look at me! I think I’m maxing out at 1 per month. Some months a bit more, but that’s simply a product of Jack growing up and frankly we don’t spend 24/7 together anymore.
Here’s a typical day during the school week. (Mom’s of young ones, be forewarned, you might not realize what’s coming!!)
Wake up at 6am. Jack goes and gets dressed, eats breakfast and gets his things ready while I get dressed, feed the cats and give Moca a short walk.
I drive Jack to school around 6:55, with Moca in the back. It’s a 10 minute drive to the school. Then Moca and I head home, I finish her walk, feed her and get ready for work.
At 3pm I pick Jack up at home when he gets off the bus. We have 10 minutes in the house and we’re ready to head to rowing. He rows now! Anyway, that’s about a 15 minute drive, I drop him off and go back to work until 6. Then I pick him up and we head home.
Jack then showers while I make dinner. We eat together and then he does homework until 9 or 10. Then bed.
THAT’S IT! Where is the time for meaningful conversation?
Total time together… maybe 2 hours MAX. More like 1.5 hours, which includes driving to and from places. Now how do I find blog-worthy material in that time??
Remember when they were little? On your hip, or at your feet all day and all night. They slept in your bed even. So, when Jack was 5 and 6 and 7, we spent a lot more time together and we talked a lot more.
Our conversations these days sometimes go from talking about the national health crisis, to 9/11, to street artists and politics. Remember when it was all about monsters in the closet, eat your veggies and trying to stop your kids from sucking their thumb? I miss those times and those blog posts. Some of my favorite posts of all times are here. Check em out. I really like all of the ones from ages 5-10 the best. 🙂
Post 2: Another one from when Jack was 5 and had to learn every single thing by himself. (he even potty trained himself, but that’s a story I’ve already told I’m sure.)
Here are some highlights of recent conversations, not verbatim but from my old and failing memory 🙂 … Jack will have to go easy on the lack of exact recall.
These were mostly talks had in the car, by the way…
Jack: What do you think about Socialism?
me: Well, There are pros and cons… I like the idea of everyone having what they need, and everyone having access to health care and education… But, that also means that not everyone will work as hard as they can to get what they want or need. We’re based on Capitalism and that means that anyone can achieve anything if they work for it, but not everyone has the same opportunities based on so many things like- – –
Jack: (interrupts) Way to be vague Mom.
me: (Sigh…) Oh, by the way I ordered your uniform for rowing and also got the jacket and two hats. I want to wear one at the races!
Jack: Don’t wear that hat Mom, you’ll look like a Trump supporter.
me: Jack, Just because it’s a red hat doesn’t mean anything. And, the hat has your racing logo on it, it’s not a political statement, sheesh. Hey did you see my texts from this morning? Pretty funny huh?
Jack: Those are old memes from like 2004. Stop spamming my phone or I’ll have to block you.
me: Ummm… no, if you block me you’ll have no phone to block WITH.
And so on and so forth. Then I pick him up after school and we pretty much go back and forth with “Do you have homework?”, “Hurry up, we’re going to be late” and “You’re not helping me at all and that’s why we’re going to be late.”.
So, moms of little ones that never stop talking, and you can’t think straight and you just want a few minutes of quiet and want to be able to finish a cup of coffee without being interrupted or want to use the bathroom with complete privacy…
Be careful what you wish for. I would go back in a heartbeat.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s amazing to watch Jack change into a handsome, smart, young man and I’m so excited to watch him develop the skills that will take him into the rest of his life. It’s just that he was so cute back then and I could lift him! Now he’s over 6 feet and I seriously would strain something if I tried to lift him. He’s actually become a much bigger help at home, he’s maturing, and can reach things that I can’t. And I also hear through the grapevine he’s the world’s best boyfriend. Yes, that’s right. He’s “dating.” And, as you know, I don’t really talk about Jack’s friends or his girlfriend here simply because this is his blog and I respect the privacy of others.
Here are a few pics to catch you up on Jack’s world…
Can you spot him in the boat above?
How about this one above? He’s the one with the really bent arms. 🙂
Who travels more than me? Jack of course.
A selfie from his birthday…
Typical question in my house. It could be anything really. Dog puke. Cat puke. Hairballs. Muddy footprints. Sometimes it’s all four at once. Add in a clumsy episode by yours truly and I’d say it’s a party.
me: What the…?? (I almost stepped in a giant puddle of water and grass on my floor. It looked like someone spilled a salad. Thanks Moca!)
I cleaned up the mess and headed into the kitchen.
me: Aaaaagghhh! (I almost stepped in a brownish blob of a hairball mixed with cat food. Rug cleaner, soap, paper towels… I had hardly gone 5 feet and was starting to break a sweat.)
That mess cleaned up, I finally made it into the kitchen to start making lunch. I grabbed the container of hummus, and… whoops! It slipped right out of my hands and plopped on the floor sort of imploding and exploding all at the same time. It was like a hummus meteor had landed right in the middle of my kitchen. The animals started circling like sharks.
me: Back, back! No no no nononononooooo! Out! (one foot up holding Moca back, the other foot hopping to keep the cats away from the mess. More paper towels and soap. More sweat.)
I cleaned up the floor and salvaged what was left in the container for my lunch. Mom’s always get floor scraps for lunch. Sheesh.
me: Jaaaack! We need to leave. Now!
Jack comes downstairs ready for camp and we head down to the garage.
Jack: Hey, you know the big creature in Stranger Things? The bloody slimy one?
me: Yeahhhh…? (what is he getting at)
Jack: Well, there was something that looked just like that in the living room just now.
me: What??!1 What was it?
Jack: I don’t know but it was big. And gross.
me: Why didn’t you go see or pick it up?
Jack: I’m not touching that.
me: Touching what??
Jack: It looked like a croissant.
me: Breat? Was it Moca’s bone?
Jack: No it was way bigger than that. It was also kinda dark and slimy. It’s right over by the speaker and the fireplace. You can’t miss it.
me: Apparently I can miss it. I was busy cleaning up Moca’s grass puke, the cat’s hairball and the hummus I spilled.
Jack: Not the hummus!
me: I saved some don’t worry. (the hummus in our town is soooooo good…) So I get to come home to a giant slimy dark wet croissant in front of the fireplace.
Jack: Pretty much.
me: Gee thanks.
Later that evening…
Jack: Hey it’s gone?
Jack: Whatever it was on the rug.
I head over to inspect. there is a football shaped stain on the white carpet. Faint, but I can tell something was there. Something I’d rather not speculate about.
We’re not sure which animal it came from or which animal ate it but all I know is that it was one less thing I needed to clean!
Who looks guilty? PoBo, Luna or Moca???
🙂 Definitely the cats haha…
Are there any other parents out there that suddenly aren’t allowed to take photos of their kids?
We watch them grow, we mark the milestones, we make literal marks on a wall as they get taller, and suddenly the “photo album” has a lot of blank pages in it.
Wait, when did my child grow a mustache? Oh it must have been between the ages of 14 and 15 where there is no photographic proof!
Right now I’m sitting on the train with Jack headed to NYC. This is the first time I’ve ridden with him this year. This year! I used to take him every other week. Moca and I would ride happily along and then either turn right around and come home, or take a walk around the city.
This year, however, Jack has insisted on riding the train alone. It saves me 5 hours of travel time for which I’m usually grateful, but I miss the rides with him. I miss taking Moca along and having her get so much attention for being such a good girl.
So, right now, Jack is sitting across from me, passed out asleep, mouth open catching flies, as they say, and boy would I like some photographic proof to show you all.
Ugh. I won’t share a photo .
But…Boy do I want to.
me: Jack, here’s a few seats here. Look it has a lot of leg room.
Jack: No, lets go find an open 3-seater.
me: I hate sitting in those. Let’s go in this 6-seater.
Jack: Ugh then we’ll get jammed in when people sit next to us.
me: No one is going to get on after Stamford, we’re fine. Look how much room we have.
A few stops later…
As a throwback to art school, where I always had an X-acto knife in my hand, I now currently do everything in my kitchen while holding a butcher knife (of some sort). I cut fruit, then use the knife to jimmy open a can of dog food, then use it to scoop and dice the food into Moca’s food bowl, and when not in use, the knife conveniently swivels back around in my hand so the handle is in my palm and the blade juts out the back. Very similar to art school. I had a lot of cuts back then. (Practice safe X-acto-ing people.)
Jack: The knife!
me: Sorry, I was just reaching for the carrots.
Jack: Don’t reach for them with the knife hand!
me: (pointing with the knife) Can you hand me the…
Jack: Gah! Put it down!
And so on and so forth. I just do everything with a knife in my hand. The other day I was chopping vegetables and then had an itch on my face. Let me tell you, since that knife has become like another appendage off my hand, I almost lost an eye!
me: (turning to get something out of the fridge) Hey, excuse me. I need to get in here.
Jack: With the knife again! (he dodges to the side).
me: Yeah, I really have to figure this out.
It’s pretty much a habit now. I’m really trying to break it! Really!
And now for some cool X-acto art with food. Because I like it. 🙂
(And I’m late with this post. Don’t judge! I was all ready to finish this up but then had to work, run home at lunch for Jack and Moca, sit in crazy rush hour traffic, meet a contractor after work, drive Jack to his GFs house, take Moca to the dog park, walk with my friend and then eat dinner and pass out… sooooo…. anyway read on!)
We are still here though have been quiet for a few weeks. Very sorry about that!
The end of school, and the beginning of summer planning has taken up every ounce of my free time.
Jack has started rowing camp, a.k.a. crew, and is enjoying it so far… That happens every afternoon… And he will also be a counselor in training at an outdoor camp in town. So that boy is going to be busy and in super shape by the end of the summer 🙂
What have y’all been up to in the last few weeks?
Today is the first day of summer and the longest day of the year so normally I stay home and enjoy it, but today I worked simply because I forgot! 😱 Can i still blame new mom brain?
Jack spent the day home playing video games and “walking” the dog. Ha. But Moca seemed happy so I’m sure it was all good.
On the way to Jack’s GFs house we had a chance to talk. Or as Jack says: Mom I don’t even have to talk because you ask questions and then you answer them yourself.
me: How are you feeling? Still sore from rowing?
me: You’re gonna be in really good shape by the end of the summer.
me: I know it’s been raining a lot but it’s going to get sunny and hot soon so you’ll have to wear sunblock for rowing.
me: So you don’t get all sunburned.
Jack: I know what sunblock is for.
me: Do you wear a hat in the boat? Do they let you? Because you might want to wear one to protect the top of your head and keep the sun out of your eyes.
Jack: I know what a hat’s for.
me; My first really really bad sunburn was in a boat when I was about your age. I forgot sunblock and my face burned to a crisp so like a week later big strips were peeling off. It was so bad.
Jack: They didn’t have sunblock back then?
me: They did but no one cared .
Remember the days of baby oil and sitting on the roof of the shed to tan?