Letters to Jack: Month 8

_MG_2343Hey there, Jack,

As I write this, I can hear the sweet, sweet sound of sleep training. You’re not a fan.

I know Dad and I are to blame for being in this situation. When you first joined our family, it was much easier to bounce or nurse you to sleep. We just had so much to do every night – put Charlie to bed, make his lunch, clean up dinner, wash dishes, feed and water the cats, pump, and get to bed at a reasonable time because you’re still not completely sleeping through the night.

But now you’re eight months old, and it’s a bit out of hand. So, in the past few weeks, we’ve been trying to put you in the crib drowsy and let you drift to sleep on your own.

Woe is you, and woe is our family, for you scream and wail, you fight and thrash. We do frequent check-ins for comfort, but that hasn’t really worked. We were successful only one night, but that was because right after we put you to bed Charlie threw up and I shattered a wine glass on my foot. I bet you heard all the shenanigans and thought, “What a crazy family. I’m out.”


Even after you’ve fallen asleep, we aren’t out of the woods. You’ve always been such a light sleeper; now, I can’t even check on you. If you so much as sense the door opening, you bolt upright, eyes wide. You’ve learned to shake your head, so that’s the first thing you do in the dark, as if to say, “Oh no you don’t even think about leaving me.” If I try to exit quickly, the wailing begins anew.

You’ve mastered crawling; now you’re trying to scale things. Your head is still GIANT, so you’re banging into a lot of things and getting bruises (I may have Googled “hematoma” today). Grandma B was considering a soft helmet for you to wear at her school during the day. Poor thing.


I think you know your name; at least, you look at us 60 percent of the time we say “Jack.” You’re talking more, starting to form buhs and duhs. You babble and squeal. You love standing up and pumping those legs. You love wrapping yourself in our curtains. Last weekend, you and I sat in a sunbeam and played an uh-oh game that involved a purple cube, the insuppressible force of gravity, and lots of laughter.

I think your favorite place in the universe is the bath with Charlie. Not only do you get to splash in water – OMG WATER – but you get to play with your silly, animated, big, best brother.


Your first word will probably be “cat.” You go crazy when you see them, and poor Baron has lost several clumps of hair to your ninja grabs.

Changing your diaper is the best. Is that weird? It was always such a battle with Charlie, so I appreciate getting to nuzzle and cuddle and tickle you. You laugh uproariously when I nom-nom-nom on your tummy.


You turned eight months just a few days before a really cool thing happened in our country — the Supreme Court voted that same-sex couples have the same right to marry as everyone else (duh).

You’ll probably grow up amazed there was a time when this wasn’t allowed, but for a very long time that was true. It’s been wonderful to see so many people celebrate this great news. I am thankful you and your brother will grow up in a society where you can marry whoever you want.

As long as I approve, of course.


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2 Responses to Letters to Jack: Month 8

  1. Barbara Crawford says:

    You’re so cute. As if a single thing you want will influence your Jack.

    And yes, all your wishes will play into his decisions. First, maybe, against your preferences, but later with full understanding and appreciation for them. And still perhaps ignoring them! Raising a human being is not, no matter how it looks, child’s play.

    Good thing it’s so much fun.

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