For Jackson’s birthday, we kept it simple but special. Three dear families joined us for a light dinner followed by cake and presents. The kids played, the adults talked, and Major was mostly well-behaved.
The thing most of you might not grasp about Jackson is that he doesn’t fully understand the reciprocity of friendship. Relationships in general are hard for him. He doesn’t understand inference or sarcasm; he doesn’t know when someone is being genuine or fake. He doesn’t always know how to relay his own emotions effectively. Jackson takes everything and everyone at face value, which means he lacks discernment in almost every area.
And yet, he is happy, happy, happy most the time. Blissful oblivion is a real thing. Jackson is always the first to smile and hug someone and be a friend, whatever that means in his world.
We work on it with him – trying to teach him what it means to care about someone, how to show love and receive love, and always be ready to forgive. Jackson has a temper, a rage that can be disconcerting at times, but we’ve come to understand that it’s because he’s always on high alert. Temperament-wise, Jackson hovers at a 9, so it doesn’t take much to reach 10 and then tumble right over the edge.
In the above photo our guests were playing a game they created while Jackson sat on the concrete to sort his miniature football helmets. He was content not to be included because sorting the helmets was far more interesting than interacting with everyone else.
The same goes for reading sports encyclopedias.
And yet, he loves these people. He gets excited to see them. He misses them when it’s been a while. Jackson craves real connection just like the rest of us, though he processes it and perceives it in a unique way. I am grateful to have folks in the fold who understand him.
At ten years old, Jackson is a gem. He puts a smile on my face everyday with his optimism, his infectious laugh, and his love for life. I tell him all the time, “You are exactly the one I wanted.”
Happy Tenth Birthday, Jack Rabbit. We love you loads.
(Sidebar: Major never looks at the camera. What a turd.)