Dear Jack, on your third birthday...
Three!!! How has it happened? It really does seem like only yesterday that we brought you home from hospital and our lives changed forever. The last three years with you have been challenging, at times excrutiatingly difficult but mostly just filled with joy and delight.
At the beginning of last year you scared us terribly when you had your first febrile convulsion. It is a moment we would love to forget, but never will - we fleetingly were forced to imagine a life without you and it was unthinkable. Your Daddy, without doubt, saved your life - you stopped breathing just after we discovered you convulsing and he performed E.A.R. successfully and kept you stabilised until the ambulance arrived. The three of us spent a long and terrifying night in hospital and you slept in our room for a week afterwards as we were scared to let you out of our sight. For us, it was a lesson in how precious you were. We already knew that, but somehow between your birth and this event life had taken over and as parents we'd learnt to relax a little. This reminded us that for the rest of our lives, your welfare is like our lifeline. You recovered from the whole event without batting an eyelid and have no memory of it at all, for which we are grateful.
You have continued to be a fabulous eater (we'll turn you into a foodie, just you wait and see), with your favourite meal being "chips and chicken at the restaurant". You are Nando's No.1 fan!!! We never have trouble getting you to eat veges and fruit and are so grateful because we know that has contributed to you being such a healthy little boy.
The "Terrible Twos" never really visited our house last year - whilst there were certainly some spectacular tantrums (which we found amusing more than anything else), they were very far and few between. You play well with other children - especially those that you know very well. In large groups you tend to stand back and assess the dynamics before you get involved with an activity or a fellow child. We wonder how much of this came from your late crawling and how much was just inbuilt in you when you were born.
You are an extremely funny little boy and quite often have us in stitches. Just the other day in the car you ordered "Stop, Stop the engine!". When we asked what was wrong (we thought you needed to go to the toilet) you replied "Well, I can't hear the music". You are content to make up little songs of your own, do your own version of dancing (you are yet to discover your hip thang!) and entertain yourself quietly.
In keeping with the rest of your sleeping patterns, you have pretty much dropped your day time sleep. You will sleep if you are at Granny or Nanna's house, but not at home (perhaps it has something to do with them laying down and sleeping too!). Nevertheless, the lack of a daytime sleep means you are off to bed early at night and sleep soundly until 7am the next day, which is not to be sneezed at.
On a skills level, you have continued to shine and we are so proud of you. You have a great attitude towards learning and recognising and identifying certain words now. Your vocabularly and speech is excellent and we are so lucky to be able to communicate with you easily. You take after your father and love to play on the computer - especially Sesame Street games and typing in Word. We discovered some of your efforts when closing the computer down one night and were amazed when you had cleverly typed "a1 b2 c3 d4".
After an agonising decision on our behalf, we enrolled you to start kindy this year and you have made your first couple of visits. In true Jack Long style you've fitted right in and are loving it. It is terrifying to let you out of our sight and leave you - we feel as though it is the first time we aren't there to protect you from harm or hurt. You have risen to the occassion though and are loving kindy, the other children and your teachers. We hope that the last three years have set you up well for entering into the big wide world alone and that we've given you the independence needed to make this transition smoothly.
This year will bring about the end of our family of three dynamic. In part, it is very sad because we've spent the last three years so happily together and have shared such special moments with you. Whilst we eagerly await your sibling's arrival and know you will be a fabulous big brother, we also know that the change will initally be difficult and cause confusion for you. We won't be able to make you completely understand what's happening but we want you to know this - you have been the greatest thing that ever happened to us. You bring such an enormous amount of happiness to our lives and sunshine to our days. You have changed us more than we could imagine and you make us better people. We feel blessed to have shared such a special three years with you. Whatever the future holds, always know that we love and treasure you.