Today is Jessie’s ½ birthday.
½ birthdays are overlooked by most, but in our family they became significant when Judson was born. Because Jud entered this world on Christmas Eve, we decided to celebrate his birth most significantly at the ½ mark each year-June 24th.
Then when Jessie was born, in an effort to be equal and fair, we thought it would be important to, at the very least, make note of her ½ birthday each year as well.
So here we are. Jessie is 18 months old today, a year and a half, and I cannot imagine life without her.
Jessie is our little miracle. First, with looming issues of infertility, the fact that we conceived her so quickly after Judson was born, was amazing. Second, had we not conceived her before Judson’s Krabbe symptoms began, we would be without child. Third, she was spared this heinous disease.
I ascribe her life to the extraordinary grace of God. I look in her eyes and see hope. I hear her giggle and experience the richness of joy. I see her smile and am overcome by the radiance of beauty. I listen to her speak and consider the wonder of development.
Jessie is also a tangible reminder of her sweet big brother. Not only are they two peas out of the same pod in terms of appearance, mannerisms, and independence, but they share some similar interests. Jessie is now at the age where I can daily imagine the relationship she and Jud would be developing. Jud was quite the little communicator and Jessie is following suit; I dream of the conversations they would be having and the words he would be teaching her. They both love balls and would probably frequently be playing “catch.” Jud had a love for vehicles and Jessie can regularly be found driving cars along the carpet with a “vroom vroom.” In fact, recently she has begun pointing out buses along the street while we drive. (Jud would be very proud. However, she’s in need of his help to learn the distinction between buses, trucks, vans, and SUVs.) Jessie enjoys many of the same books that frequently captured Jud’s attention and he would likely be reciting them to her. And Jessie seems to have an uncommon love for her Toddler Bible (without encouragement from us), maybe even more so than Jud at this age. The first thing Jessie says in the morning is “Bible” pointing at the picture clad Scriptures and begging us to read.
Jessie and Jud are also very different too! Jessie is extremely laid back in areas where Judson was more high-strung, and she is a little firecracker in circumstances he tended to be more compliant. Judson would inspect each piece of food before he put it in his mouth, ensuring it was worth digesting. On the other hand, Jessie, “The Fridge,” eats absolutely anything put in front of her. Jessie has strong oral inclinations-constantly sucking her two fingers, putting everything in her mouth, eating sand, and more. Judson used a pacifier until he turned one and his oral reflexes quickly ended there. Jessie likes clothes and stuffed animals which held little attraction for Jud. Where Jud was sensitive, Jessie is tough. Where Jud was cautious, Jessie is bold.
In their similarities and differences, Jud and Jessie complement each other well. Jessie does not yet know her loss, and may never grasp it fully, but I believe Jud has left an imprint on her soul. It is already evident that she has a beautiful heart and sweet spirit just like her brother.
I see the fullness of life bound up in my precious little girl, and pray that Jessie may have many more ½ birthdays to flourish and grow!