My first blogpost was a year prior to our son Jedd’s birth, and I began blogging in earnest when he was born. I’ve noted a few other numeric milestones on this blog but semi-intentionally passed by post #1500 recently. Jedd’s 8th birthday, a milestone for him and for us, seems a good time to document a bit of his life on this blog. . . .
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No one set Jedd’s alarm on Sunday night, so I woke him up on Monday morning. Three days before his birthday, I told him he was officially 7-point-99 years old! He is a morning person, and he smiled right away.
Jedd has had more than his share of sniffles this year but is generally a healthy kid and hasn’t been to the doctor since he was two or three. He is a little shorter than average (like Karly) and has a sweet spirit (like Karly). He likes all people (even more than Karly) and has friends of various ages—including adults. He actually asked me two days ago about planning a “date” to Pizza Hut with a little girlfriend, but we’re passing that by for now. Jedd’s first friends in western NY were mostly college students, and that doubtless contributed to his strong vocabulary, communication skills, and love of people. Due in part to interim faculty positions I’ve held, Jedd has lived in five states already and has traveled in 22. He has seen the Gulf of Mexico, and he has breathed thin air at 12,000 feet in the Colorado Rockies and felt a “polar bear wind” in Wyoming. He’s traveled through Bald Knob and Bennington, Corpus Christi and Cookeville. He has lived in Allegany County and Atchison and has seen Anderson and the Atlantic Ocean.
He thinks his 2nd grade year has been his best ever. He reads at a level that can make it problematic to find reading material that’s challenging but age-appropriate, and I think he reads aloud better than some 5th or 6th graders. He seems to understand arithmetic “strategies” quickly. He likes surprises and says “Oh, yay” when I offer him just about anything, including going exploring on a country highway, running out to a store, or giving him a pop quiz on math while we drive. “I love questions,” he says.
Jedd has played baseball, basketball, and soccer on organized teams. Of the three, he is best at baseball (starting his 2nd year now) and seems to like it the best, too. He has learned some things on piano, thanks to my mother, and I should probably be capitalizing on his interest in piano and brass instruments soon. Within the previous two or three days, he had expressed his typical enthusiasm for multiple things, including pizza, Bible history, digging holes, earthworms, baseball, and pretending to set up a store to sell rocks (testing for any meteorites first), and practicing solfège syllables. An older friend who’s known him about 1/3 of his life once took Jedd fishing, and just last week, he went again and won a fishing rod. He still loves trains and construction vehicles, just as he did when he was two (although Thomas has been out for several years). He points out cool-looking classic cars as quickly as we do. He loves animals, but it takes him a minute to get used to jumpy, intrusive dogs (since he was bitten once). He plays free games on our tablet and watches sitcom reruns on Netflix, but he likes playing outside even more. He rides his bike and his scooter, and he loves my motorcycle. He likes to build forts with cushions and chairs and blocks and sheets, installing temporary lighting so he can read in there. A clip-on reading light for his bed was quite possibly his most used gift ever.
We are of course interested in his spiritual development (and are not contributing directly to it as much as we should). He has always loved going to various Bible classes and “children’s worship” times in various churches. We feel it is good for him to be part of “Christian family” experiences, including various small group Bible studies and informal talks. A few times in the last couple of years, we have included him unobtrusively in communion observances although he has not made a profession of faith or been immersed. We had some matzah in the house recently, and it was he who wanted to use them in reenacting the “Last Supper,” so we did just that. He also expressed a prolonged interest in watching a video we have of Matthew’s gospel. Jedd has assimilated a lot of facts and has a great deal of acquaintance with the Bible (and has three Bibles of his own). We are working on his memorizing half a verse in Greek to “perform” for his school’s talent show next week, and he commented recently that some of his neighborhood friends believe in God but that’s about as far as it goes. He feels some personal sadness when he does wrong, and that could be the most important thing in this sphere at this point in his life.
Tonight we are surprising Jedd with a trip to the KC Royals game with a friend from school. In about a week we will head out to see his nonagenarian great-grandmother in DE, and she’ll be thrilled to see him, watch TV and walk with him, and see him throw a baseball. He has another summer treat coming right after that. It is time for a new bike, but we’ll hold off on that for a couple more months.
I hope you’ve enjoyed some tidbits just 1% as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them. Jedd is a neat kid. His first name, by the way, comes from Jedidiah (“beloved of the Lord”), which was another given name of King Solomon. His middle name is a form of his paternal grandfather’s name, Gerald. (Jedd is the only one to carry the family surname.)
Happy birthday, Jedd Garrett Casey.