It’s Jackson’s birthday and you probably know that I’m a total fucking mess. How in the world do I have a 12-year-old whose voice is cracking?! How do I have a son who has stinky feet and greasy hair? How? Me? What? I don’t know, but I’m so happy and also so very sad. Christ, this is parenting isn’t it? Happy/sad. Calm/Chaotic. Joy/Hulga.
This kid of mine. Man. He’s smart. He’s gifted, he’s in a STEM/IB school. He plays the trumpet, is learning how to play the drums. He’s politically engaged. He’s marched for women’s rights in Washington DC. He’s protested in Atlanta streets for Black Lives Matter. He’s led group projects at school, competed on robotics teams, soccer teams, basketball teams, swim teams, and baseball teams. He makes people laugh. He prefers friends who are girls because they seem “smarter” and “nicer.” Also, they are “pretty cute.”
This kid of mine has traveled more in his first twelve years than many adults have. He’s been to almost 30 states. He’s been to Cananda, Puerto Rico, The Caribbean. He’s always up for anything and he seems to always have a bag packed just in case. His favorite is still NYC, anytime.
This kid of mine has made friends in all SIX school he has attended in the three states he has lived in. He’s funny and kind and he’s forever the optimist. He’s very agreeable, as long as you are on the right side of history with him.
He loves video games, board games, and watching 80s movies with his parents. He likes to talk on the phone to his grandparents. He’s an excellent swimmer and snowboarder. He loves all things cars and either wants to be in the FBI or an automotive engineer when he grows up. He excels at pinball.
He was born on October 1, 2008 at 3:57 am in Branson, Missouri. The moment I held him I knew he was destined for greatness.
I love you Jackson Riker. Thank you for consistently reminding me that life is good.