Today has been a good day. I am in Santa Anna (population 1,082) visiting my Dad on his birthday. Jackson and I took off mid-morning and drove 2-1/2 hours north. Took an hour to get out of town, but once I hit Seward Junction on 183 traffic was light. It is a nice drive. Rural. 70 mph speed limit. Sunshine. Just a nice day to drive. Jackson actually slept for about 45 minutes, which is almost a record. I have the only child in known existence who does not sleep in the car. But he was happy, and when he got tired of riding, I gave him a ziplock of Goldfish, which always makes him content for a little while longer.
Got here about 1:00 p.m, just in time for BBQ burgers and hotdogs. My brother had his girls, Emma and Gracie, and his girlfriend's 3 kiddos. Jackson was so happy to run around the yard and play with the soccer ball and just watch what the older kids were doing.
He doesn't get enough outside time. I feel guilty about that. But after taking care of him all day and working half days and getting home and thinking about cooking dinner, etc... I just don't feel like going outside and keeping up with him. He doesn't like going out into the back yard. He only wants to go out front where there are sidewalks and people walking dogs and cars. If I go outside with him, I basically have to walk around the block with him cause he just wants to keep going. And the cold doesn't seem to phase him like it phases me.
So today was good. My Dad has a big ol fenced yard and a sandbox and play scape he built for the grandkids. Jackson could go all over the place and he did. He walked the fence line. He chased the soccer ball. He pointed at birds and just had a great time. And when I put him down for a nap, he sighed and was grateful and slept for a good two hours.
When he woke up, it was just him and me. My brother left and my Dad's employees dragged him off to the monster truck show in Abilene. Yeah, that's right, the monster truck show. So Jackson and I played on the floor with some matchbox cars my Dad has. And he sat on my lap and pointed at body parts for me to name. He knows eyes. He knows mouth. Or at least he likes sticking his finger in my mouth. We are working on nose and ears. But he rarely sits still and pays attention to me long enough for repetition to make memory.
But today, my boy was so affectionate. He let me hold him and he gave me kisses and hugs and just let me be close to him. This may not sound like much to you, but it is a pretty big deal to me. My son was not a born cuddler. He was five months old the last time I got to rock him to sleep. He doesn't like it. When he is tired, he just wants to be put in his crib. And this is not a bad thing as far as sleeping and routine is concerned. I know lots of parents who would love to be able to put their kid in bed at 7:00 p.m. and say "goodnight" and that's that. I know that. It is just nice that as Jackson is getting older, he is learning to be affectionate. He seems to understand now that it is about showing love and happiness, not about being confined or smothered. It makes me happy when he grabs my face and gives me kisses - which usually include lots of slobber and sometimes teeth. And today was a good day for that.
Heh, maybe it made a difference that his Daddy wasn't here. When Daddy is around, Jackson still prefers to stick like glue to him. He loves his Daddy. But he doesn't give his Daddy kisses yet. So I am content.
Things are pretty good. My Robin Hood script is in its second draft and those I have asked for suggestions don't seem to have anything to add or subtract. So I may just read it through again and make sure I like the way it reads. Then I can call it done. Scottish Rite will be holding auditions for it in a few weeks and it goes up in April. I am excited. I hope it plays well and the kids love it. I think it is pretty darn good. My editing contributors had such great suggestions after the first draft that it is now so much better than I thought it could be. I am definitely proud.
BTW, my Dad's keyboard is disgusting. It is covered in cigarette ash, coffee, and numerous other unidentified substances. When I am done posting this, I am seriously going to give my hands a good scrub. Didn't I just read that women's desks were more dirty than men's? Hmmm. Guess I know what a good birthday present for my Dad is. New keyboard. This one is gross. Really.