Yes. My boy is TWENTY. Isn't that just awesome?? This was my facebook status on September 28, 2010:
A child arrived just the other day, he came to the world in the usual way...but Look! This story is different! From the moment the child's Mom first looked into his eyes, she knew he was here to teach *her*. And so she gave him the sacred space & Trust to do so. Happy Birthday, my Jakey ~ you are a zillion adjectives that describe Goodness... You Are Necessary & Infinitely Valuable to Me and to this Universe.
I have always talked about how Sam came into our lives and showed us how to lighten up and laugh more. Dave, Jake and I had always been so serious before Sam had arrived.
And recently, Jake was having a difficult time remembering himSelf accurately, because of my description. He asked for more clarity: "Was I ALWAYS really serious??"
I apologized for boxing his entire BE-ing into one word...one that wasn't entirely accurate (especially if *he* didn't remember it that way!).
I told him that it wasn't that he was serious...it was just that he preferred to have conversations with adults over being silly with other kids. The weight of the world weighed heavily on his shoulders, and that's what I did my best to remove from him...he had enough weight without the world adding even *more* onto it. That's why before I ever even heard of radical unschooling, the focus of our lives were on SHEER JOY. I also told him that's why he was so loved by so many adults ~ because of his ability and desire to converse with them...
AND we remembered young Jake in the Disney Store. Ohmygoodness...those employees in there just LOVED Jake because he would converse with them about his current Disney passions (much like he would talk about his favorite books and authors with every library employee)!!
I told Jake that there was always such JOY and FUN in our lives (in fact, this is why Dave and I almost *forgot* that we wanted to have TWO children!!...because our lives were so immersed in all that Jake was ~the work he was showing us we had to do AND the JOY he was bringing to our lives!). It's just that we had no idea about *silliness*, really!! ;)
When we were recently at Jake's childhood Disney store again, he was walking around, smiling, remembering (and smelling ~ smelling is always a part of our *remembering*!!) ...and then he got to the back of the store where they have that big pile of stuffed animals. I told him that he was always disgusted with the little kids who JUMPED into that pile of toys...he knew it wasn't what you were *supposed* to do (he was always a rule-follower...this boy who had no rules at home because he was trusted and encouraged to follow his own inner guidance system...) and he would often tell the kids that.
Standing there, looking at the pile of stuffed animals at age 19, Jake confessed, joyfully, that he had a deep desire to throw himself right into the middle of all of those stuffed animals!!
My heart just BEAMED with JOY and LOVE.
I am ALWAYS always grateful for this glorious life...for always listening to, following, honoring and celebrating Jake and Sam (and giving them the sacred space they needed in order to SHINE), but there are some moments when that gratitude is greatly magnified. And standing in the Disney Store with my (then) 19-year-old telling me of his desire to jump into the stuffed animal pile was one of those times.
Happy Happy Birthday, my Jake.