Jacob is my oldest son. Before I met him, I had no real idea that I wanted to be a mother. The moment I met him, I knew there was nothing in the world that would be more important to me. It would take many pages and hours to recant all the wonderful things that have transgressed during our time together, and I regret not having started this much earlier, but I suppose this is better late than never.
Though Jake is obviously very young yet and will take years to become who he will be, he has made many aspects of his core personality very clear already. Jake is extremely intelligent. He has both a strong rote memory and a knack for comprehension, so he picks concepts up quickly and never forgets them. He’s a very strong student, though sometimes he feels that he is more socially awkward. (Please note his teachers seem to think that everyone wishes to be his friend, and Jake is his own worst critic.) He is a very critical thinker, and sometimes that does not lend itself to being very accepting of new things that he doesn’t agree with or understand. However, rest assured that if he finds the truth in you to be favorable, he will love you unabashedly. Jake is more recently establishing that he is very sentimental, which isn’t surprising considering he never forgets even the smallest, seemingly insignificant moments. Jake is also learning to be very empathetic. He works very hard to put himself in the metaphorical shoes of others, and he feels their hurting and their joys with them when he can. Mostly, Jake strives to make his world fair. He shares his toys, his candy, his thoughts… He is honest even to the point of jeopardizing his own well being. Overall, he is a very amazing person already at the early age of 7.
This is a picture of Jake after he asked me to give him a tattoo like his father’s.
Now getting back to current times…
Last night, I watched Alice in Wonderland with the kids. (Unfortunately, it was not the awesome Disney cartoon version, rather a newer version with Martin Short and Whoopie Goldberg in it… kids seem to have better attention spans when animation is involved…) I recall watching this story several times when I was younger, and I almost always felt confused and uncomfortable in the middle of the movie. I never really grasped the point of the show.When the show was over, it was bed time and so Jake and I discussed the movie as I was settling Ben into bed. Jake, to my surprise, called the ending right from the beginning. He knew that Alice was hiding to avoid singing to her guests, and he realized that she had fallen asleep, and that accounted for the very strange happenings in Wonderland. He picked up on the fact that much of the scenery was based on items they had showed in Alice’s house and bedroom. Most importantly, he realized that all the character interaction that took place in Wonderland needed to happen to help Alice feel brave and confident. I was so impressed that he comprehended so much out of such a complex fanciful, nearly distracting show.
As Jake was falling to sleep himself, he questioned if there was another movie of Alice in Wonderland. I enlightened him that in fact, there was a much more recently released Alice in Wonderland movie, but the story was written in the 1800s and has been done many times in many different ways. I told him also that I had read a book that was based on the story of Alice in Wonderland. After much consideration, Jake decided that he could relate to Alice because, like Alice, he finds himself nervous to speak and sing in front of people. Jake decided that one day, he would re-write the story from a boys point of view, so that readers could understand the main ideas, but could live without all the flowers and dresses that the movies are known for. He decided he would call his book “Madden in Wonderland”, because that would be more masculine. He also confided that he wishes to be more like his father. He actually said, “I want to be more like Daddy. He is really well liked by everyone.” At that point, Jake and I spent a little time talking about the reasons people like Daddy so much, and I reassured him that he is a well liked boy also. Jake quickly drifted to sleep… and I felt like a very proud mother, watching his innocent face, knowing that he has such a complex and well developed mind behind that young mask. I simply can’t wait to read his future adaption of a classic story.