Nine Years Old

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My little daredevil on the ski lift Gatlinburg, Spring 2016

Today our youngest turns nine years old, which is really hard for me to believe.

Sidebar: I’m not one of those people who has a problem with getting older. I know plenty of adults who complain about their age or dress like they’re a decade younger. Not me. I’ll turn 40 this year and I have no problem with that. Honestly, 40 feels about right. But where I find myself bucking reality is when it comes to the age of my children. I honestly can’t believe how quickly they’re growing up. It’s like I’m living in a time warp or something. In some ways it seems as if they just got here and all of a sudden their childhood is half over. Seriously.

Nine years ago, God brought a strong-willed bundle of life into our family. Sunny’s pregnancy was fraught with complications, but God delivered our third child to us at 9:01am on June 11, 2007. After deliberating back and forth for months, we decided to name him Jackson Cash; Jackson, which means “God has been gracious” and Cash, which means “peace.” (You can read the full etymology here.) Sunny and I wanted Jackson’s name to serve as a constant reminder of the gracious provision of God. And our prayer for him is that his name would be a testimony to the shalom of the Lord.

Jackson is one of the most determined people I know. I love watching him focus on a project and seeing it through to completion. Whether it’s school work, art work, or his latest LEGO creation, Jackson doesn’t give up and I love that about my son. I also love that he isn’t overly concerned with the perception of others. I believe that it takes a unique person to be a sibling to a set of multiples. While his brother and sister are kind of a “unit” — they usually receive the same privileges at or around the same time; they’re in the same class; they have the same friends; etc. — Jackson is comfortable being his own person. He’s unfazed by what others are doing. More often than not, he’s going to go his own way. And I love this about Jackson as well. It reminds me of another Bybee man — Jackson’s grandfather.

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June 11, 2016

Jackson, you bring us so much joy. I cannot imagine our family without you. I love being silly with you. I love cuddling on the couch with you and watching Star Wars. I love your wild storytelling ability. I love your adventurous spirit. I love your headstrong confidence. I love listening to your prayers. And I love that you’re my son.

Happy birthday, son!

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