While the sounds of his big brother jumping in a swimming pool shouting out, Look daddy, I fimmin (swimming), Jackson pulled the covers over his head saying with certainty, You dont have any tapes of me, do you? As if I dont feel guilty enough for not breastfeeding him, now Id have to live with the fact that we forgot to document this precious little boys monumental steps. How could I? I swore I would not be one of those parents. You know the ones Im talking about; the kind who document every milestone of the 1st child and forget about the second, third and fourth. The kind of parent who completes the My 1st Year baby book for the oldest and forget about subsequent children. The kind of parent who can tell you exactly how much the oldest weighed at birth but doesnt remember the day the other children were born You know, like my parents.
Being the 4th of 6 children the only evidence that I even existed was my birth certificate. There was one snapshot of me when I was a baby with my dads mother holding me. Before I submitted that photo for the yearbook my senior year in high school, my older sisters warned me not to since the baby in that picture was actually my oldest sister. It wasnt until this moment I realized what a genius my mom was. We almost had Jackson convinced it was him I was holding in a swimming pool. But then my husband-who was operating the camera-started saying, Good job, Jacob! Show the camera how you can swim to mommy. Jackson was crushed. But before I could say, You will be the first to get a car, Jackson he pointed at the screen and said, Whos the fat girl holding Jacob. I let him have that one.
What were we going to do? I didnt want this to be one of those stories kids tell their friends (or therapist) when they reach adulthood. As the youngest, he already feels slighted because he doesnt have an IPod or cellphone. Would we be forced to hire baby actors and shoot pseudo family movies so our oversight wouldnt confirm Jacksons belief that he was somehow switched at birth?
Luckily we found one. It wasnt of his first steps or laugh but it was still perfect. When it started a little bespeckled boy of 2 years old sat on a plane with his Lightening McQueen slippers on. We all looked in awe at this little boy. I remembered that little boy who insisted on wearing those house shoes everywhere. As the video rolled we watched that little boy who had the chubby face of a toddler but eyes wise beyond his years. And for the first time since we started this stroll down memory lane Jackson was content as he stepped out from his big brothers shadow. He was satisfied. When the tape was over he looked at me and I prepared to hear him say how much he loves me and daddy.
Wheres the one of me at Disney World?
This could get expensive.
You may contact Becky at firstname.lastname@example.org