I was driving to Gymboree one morning while listening to Los Angeles’ 93.1 Jack FM. The ad for the station simply kept repeating “You are listening to JACK!” in various tones and voices. I am listening to Jack. This happened during a period several months ago, in which Jack’s speech and his delay thereof was a much larger concern. Like I do with most things in my life, I took these concerns to their unnatural and completely illogical conclusion. In hindsight, I am forced to acknowledge that I should have simply taken the heart warming notions of those who simply pondered: “Maybe he just doesn’t have anything to say.”
I know that our experiences shape us. We use the collected data from our previous conflicts to help us move forward. One of the hardest things I’ve had to learn is how to simply let go. I tend to think that I am in control of the uncontrollable or that I can somehow bring order to complete chaos. Once in a while, I’m capable of maintaining an illusion of control but an illusion is just a fancy word for trick, or even worse, lie. Letting go of my expectations concerning Jack has been both the hardest discipline to maintain and also the most rewarding. To bear witness to the unfolding of “the plan” with out my playing God is one of the most gratifying experiences of my life. It would almost seem like all the things I worry about are a waste of time and energy. The world WILL keep on spinning and I just need to have faith that things are unfolding as they should. As they always would have.
Jack is 2 and a half now, and he has a lot to say. It’s not always completely clear. Sometimes it’s a free stream of consciousness, that I think is the closest I’ll ever come in his life to actually hearing his thoughts. Sometimes it’s a clearly articulated observation. Sometimes it’s a question. Most times it’s a demand. No matter, whether I like it or not…
…I am listening to Jack.
So, what does he sound like? I can only speak from my own experience and tell you what I hear. I hear my son speak and I feel my throat swell with emotion. I see him read a book and hear him loudly boom “FEE FI FO FUM” as the Giant discovers another Jack hiding in the cupboard, and I nearly shake with gratitude for the beautiful boy that I’m help raise. I see his eyes fill with wonder as a Fire Truck passes and he calls out “WHOA!” I hear him sing songs that he learns in school and I have this innate feeling that everything in the universe is going to be okay. He sounds like a little boy. The baby is long gone. A phase left behind with the declaration of his age in months. Jack is two years old and he’s doing great, in spite of my inevitable attempts to control his development and behavior.
Some one that I respect incredibly and has helped me a lot in the last year told me recently that I cannot help but light up when I am speaking about Jack. That made me feel really good. Jack illuminates me, and it’s nice to know that my physical body cannot contain all the light he gives me.
Am I being a little over-dramatic? Well, if you’ve met me you’d know that’s my default speed. I’m working on it. But, for now…
…I am listening to Jack, and the smile on my face can not seemingly get any bigger.
Thanks for listening. Be well.