As soon as my son Jack was born in 2014, I remember getting annoyed whenever people would tell me “Enjoy every moment. It goes by so fast.” I would get angry at them and think to myself ‘Oh, yeah, right. I’m up all night. I’m covered in puke. Oh, wait, I just got peed on.’ But the truth is, four years have gone by in the blink of an eye. And while I will never miss getting puked or peed on, and I will never be the mom who eats her child’s half-chewed anything, I am filled with love and gratitude and still trying to navigate my own way into this brave, new world I have found myself stumbling through. I have tried to be present in every moment as much as possible. I have attempted to freeze time in a way by snapping 31,106 photos and take more than 2,000 videos since he was born.

I have made mistakes—a lot of mistakes. I spoiled Jack so much from the moment he was born with all my love, all my attention and as many material things as possible too, because I went through so much to get pregnant for him and I thought, for sure, he’d be my only child. I want to give him the world.  Well, as it turns out, God quickly reminded me He is control and while I was business making my plans and my mind up, He sent me a second miracle—my son Patrick who arrived just two months ago. I am now in the unique new position of splitting my time; dividing my love and attention evenly between the two of them.

So here I am, the most unlikely mother of two boys, with the best intentions in her heart, but still no real clue of what I’m doing trying to raise up these tiny humans. Jack is a work in progress and so am I. Today, Sept. 8, 2018, is Jack’s fourth birthday. I love him with all of my heart, but I’m now discovering the “fierce fours” are upon me and the “terrible twos” are not looking so terrible in retrospect. Jack is a force of nature to be reckoned with. He’s the height and weight of an eight year old, but still just four. He is brilliant and stubborn and loving and tenacious. When I have had to discipline him, sometimes he tells he hates me and my heart shatters as I send him off to the corner in tears for time out. I am then crying quietly in my own corner. Being a parent is hard. It’s the hardest job on the planet having to teeter between protector, guide and at moments, a fun-loving social director who has nonstop activities lined up for amusement.

As Jack enters into his fourth year of life, I ask all of you to continue to pray for his health and safety and for myself and his father to have the strength, patience and grace to properly parent him. He is so loving and so wise beyond his years in many ways, while all at the same time, he is still, for the moment, just a little boy trying to find his own place in this strange, big world.

Jack has achieved so many milestones over the past year. He has potty training down, which I honestly never thought was going to work out. Thank you for proving me wrong, Jack! He is learning how to listen more actively and he loves helping out with his little brother, who already adores him.

So Happy Birthday, Jack. Thank you for making me a mother. Thank you for making me a better person who has learned it’s not always about me and it will never always be about me again. Thank you for teaching me what raw and pure unconditional love is. Thank you for pushing me to my limits and proving to me just how strong I can be. Thank you for every sleepless night. I wouldn’t trade them for the world because it was one more minute I got to spend with you. But most of all, thank you for choosing me to be your mother.



Author: Joanie Cox-Henry

I am a professional writer and journalist with more than 14 years of industry experience. I am a mama, a fashion-lover, a beauty product fanatic and a caffeine queen. I want to put a dent in the universe, but I'll start with that crumb cake.

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