This week we decided it's time to update our pictures in the Living Room. And, in homage to one of our favorite cartoon characters, Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes, we took these:
Even though I've spent the 12 years prior to his birth around persons with disabilities, I guess living with a child who has Down syndrome is different. Or, maybe we're just really really REALLY lucky. Although I doubt it.
Jake has already taught me so much about never underestimating the spirit of an individual, and to never judge them by their 'label'.
Jacob has been surprisingly intelligent, resourceful beyond belief, and his expressions mimic those of Calvin's.
Every morning I wake up to see a twinkle in his eye that grows brighter as his discovery of life increases.
Day after day, I notice the frustration he feels, evident in his rare outbursts - not because his mind doesn't comprehend, but because his body won't cooperate with what he's trying to get it to do.
I see pride reflected on his face when he accomplishes a task he has worked hard to achieve.
Then there's the mischievousness. Oh, my sweet, naughty, little rascal! He has a special look on his face and inflection in his giggle when he teases me or tries to get away with something he knows he shouldn't.
Then there's the calm patience he exudes. I often experience this emotion on one of his many sick days. Although a relatively health child, I think his medical issues early in life diminished his immune system. It seems as if he brings home virtually every cough, cold, or bug possible from school or church. Sickness generally means I get to have a precious few moments of quite as I cuddle with my rarely-still son.
Outgoing. Jake LOVES to get his picture taken. And if I don't do it, he will! Thus, one of his first selfies!
Contemplative. This is one of those emotions he shows that I really didn't expect to see from Jacob. Especially as a child. But on occasion, I will catch him sitting still, seeming to contemplate the world's troubles and how to fix them. Before long, he will get up from his little chair and go about his business fixing whatever it is that's been weighing on his mind - usually with one of the above mentioned emotions.
Competitive. Another delightful emotion I've seen as of late has been Jake's competitive nature. His big sister is only 18 months older than he, which allows for many opportunities to compete. His favorite thing is to play basketball and catch, or running (which often results in him catching up to, and tackling his sister - with perfect form, I might add!)
Aside from his endless love and compassion, I must say that my favorite emotion I see Jacob exude is his imagination. This little boy is no vacuous space housed by a shell of a body. Oh, no no no no no! Little Jacob is this treasure-trove of thoughts and emotions wrapped up inside a firecracker of a boy. Every day I will, after hours of playing with friends or his sister, find him playing by himself perfectly content playing a game of make-believe that only he understands, or hiding under the hamper in his own private island of mystery.
Yes, life is good with little Jacob around. All he needs is a toy tiger to carry with him everywhere he goes!