Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My dear sweet Jake

Warning: This post will be nothing but lots of typing with NO visuals or fun stuff. I'm documenting this for my own records, you may choose to skip this post and I wouldn't be offended one bit if you did.

Lately my Jakob has been showing signs of childhood depression. I've been sensing this for a few weeks now and when I brought it up to Austin yesterday, he too agreed that he'd been noticing it as well.

I need to start out by explaining to you what Jakob is like. In all honestly, he is a NEAR perfect child, seriously. I know it's hard for you to believe that coming from his MOTHER of all people, but he really is.

He has so many good qualities, qualities that I only WISH came naturally to me instead of trying to work at them each day. He's kind to EVERYONE (except for the occasional sibling spat), he's SO loyal...he will NEVER let you down. He's charming, handsome, spiritual - so smart when it comes to the gospel his church teacher told him he's not allowed to answer anymore questions in class because she wants the other kids to try to learn, extremely well-mannered, thoughtful - oh how thoughtful this sweet boy is. It kills him to see others hurt or be sad. He's intelligent beyond his years (seriously he's like in his upper 30's), he's goal oriented and has his 30 year plan already mapped out in his little head.

This kid is amazing.
How he spawned from my genes, I'll never know.
When he was younger we used to joke that he was the future prophet.
Seeing the direction his heart leads, I don't doubt it.
Ughh...I'm crying already.

What one wouldn't give to have a son like Jakob.
Given all these great qualities, there is a downfall. Because these qualities make him rare, his peers see him as just that...rare. Now don't get me wrong, Jake has friends, he's a GREAT friend. He's the best friend you could ever find, but he tends to get a long better with older children and adults so he's never had a TON of friends. Especially now that he's getting older, I think his peers are beginning to see that he's not like them. He doesn't act up, or get rowdy. He doesn't play jokes on other classmates, or make fun of people. He doesn't do things that most kids his age do. So in turn, he's left out.

The past few weeks I have noticed Jake withdrawing himself from friends in the neighborhood. I don't necessarily mind it because they seem to make him the butt of all their jokes. I've noticed him enveloping himself in books and clinging to me and Austin more instead of playing outside. I've noticed his sleep patterns changing with him having trouble falling asleep at night. I've noticed him acting more BLAH about activities or going places. I feel like he's definitely starting to notice that he has few friends and it's bothering him. I also TRULY believe that Jakob's school teacher is a witch and she shows no love whatsoever to her children and I feel like Jakob senses this. He's always had wonderful teachers, some easy, some hard...but they ALL loved their children. You can always tell when a teacher loves her class. This lady DOES NOT.

The sad part is, any normal kid would show hatred towards everyone else for treating them the way his "friends" treat him. Instead, Jake shows love. Sunday night he printed up a bunch of cards to pass out at school. He said he wanted to be a missionary. They read...

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The corner of Bryn Mar and Western
Sunday at 1:00

How is it possible that I have this kid?

His birthday is coming up on the 16th of May and he'll be 9. He wanted to have an Indiana Jones party but didn't know who to invite. Then he decided on a sleepover with his closest "friend" Anthony until Anthony recently joined in on the neighborhood ganging up on Jake fiasco. I wanna scream at how mean kids are. They're hateful and they're sooo hurtful to these little hearts that don't have a CLUE what they're doing wrong.

I didn't want to bring up the birthday thing again to him because I knew it was upsetting him. I decided yesterday (thanks to some ideas from Amber) that on his birthday we would just do a family party. Forget friends...they suck anyway. I told Austin we should take Jake to one of his favorite places, an aquarium, spend the day there, eat lunch together, come home to balloons and cake and then open presents...just US. Just our family.

We pitched the idea to Jake and he seemed to be okay with it. He wasn't jumping up and down of course, but he also wasn't whining...because he wouldn't. Even if he hated the idea, he'd do it and smile. I told Austin we could give Miah and Kora $15-20 bucks each and let them each pick a present for Jake as well as us get him something so he has presents to open too. Because he IS a kid. Luckily yesterday a fun package arrived in the mail from some of our best friends in Texas addressed to Jake. It was a birthday present and it seriously made his DAY. Thank you Burns Family! I sure wish Jake had friends like that here.

Anywho. If things don't seem to perk up in Jake's world, I'm considering taking him to the doctor for this. I don't need my 9 year old feeling like crapola.

I love you my Jake. You're perfect. You really are. Kids can be cruel but just hang in there and keep being the sweet little spirit you are and things will turn around for you. I just know it! Big plans are in store for you Bubba...BIG plans. I see it already!


Amanda said...

oh Jessica--This post made me so sad:( I want to beat up those other kids! SERIOUSLY! It sounds like P has a lot in common with Jake. I honestly have not been there yet--so I have no advice. Bryan was VERY much like that and he really only had one good friends all through High school--at least he had him. I hope he has a wonderful Birthday with you guys!

Marian said...

I want to SCREAM, a primeval scream and then I want to SCREAM again. Why is it the demon is permitted to enter some minds at such an early age, their actions causing pain to those who appear to have a shield against the monster (Jake)? "Those to whom much is given, much is expected."

Our Heavenly Father and his parents will give our sweet Jake the courage and stamina he requires to overcome this difficult period in his young little life.

Aunt M

Tara said...

my comment was too long, I'm going to email it to you.

Valinda said...

Wow, that is so sad to be happening to such a sweet guy! I hope you guys can figure out how to make this situation work out for the best, good luck.

Kathy said...

I have an almost eight-year old boy that would love to have a pen pal! I know it doesn't replace the real thing, but it could be fun.

Lindsay said...

i love you jakob!!! keep being you! i honestly think you are the best behaved, most considerate kid i know. this post made me wanna cry... tell jakob what i said on hear.. i think he needs to know how many people love him.

Carolina said...

Awww...your sweet Jakey! My heart is hurting for him because I know how cruel kids can be and what a blow to the self esteem that can be at such an early age. I had kids calling me "half-breed" which I don't ever know how they knew what that meant or how they figured I was one of them. I was 8 years old in Elementary school and I think it scarred me for the rest of my childhood. I always felt "different" and it made me a painfully shy adolescent!

Jake was such a sweet little boy and from what you describe..he is still the same and even better! I'm sorry you're going through this as a mother. I know people are really wierd about therapy. But therapy is so amazing and even children can benefit from it at a young age, if they're willing to talk about their feelings; maybe you could go that route.

I hope this gets better! He seems like an angel...you're lucky to be his mom!

Jess said...

Oh this breaks my heart...and also makes me realize the journey I'm about to start with being a mom. I, too was kind of like Jake...always on my best behavior, didn't do things just because others did, stuck to what I knew was right...but I think it's easier to be like that being a girl even though I wouldn't say I had a ton of friends. Girls didn't seem as cruel as peer pressured boys.

What an intelligent guy Jake is already at 9...you should be proud...even though it's painful he's not roaming with the terror neighborhood kids b/c he's not accepted, he's so many years ahead of them!

Misty said...

Oh---I am so sad at this post. What a wonderful little boy you have-do you believe in pre arranged marriages-I DO! And I have a little girl right up his alley! She is more of a missionary at 8 1/2 than I am at 3?? something!
Laughing aside-I agree with you. I think I would take him in if he was mine too. He may just need a little guidance. Ask your bishop about an LDS counselor in your area. Keep telling him everyday you love him and ask grandparents and old friends to call or write letters often to him. He needs to know he is thought of everyday.
Good Luck.

Misty said...

Oh---I am so sad at this post. What a wonderful little boy you have-do you believe in pre arranged marriages-I DO! And I have a little girl right up his alley! She is more of a missionary at 8 1/2 than I am at 3?? something!
Laughing aside-I agree with you. I think I would take him in if he was mine too. He may just need a little guidance. Ask your bishop about an LDS counselor in your area. Keep telling him everyday you love him and ask grandparents and old friends to call or write letters often to him. He needs to know he is thought of everyday.
Good Luck.

Goodnight moon said...

I've been thinking of him every since our talk yesterday, and my heart truely goes out to him! He IS an amazing kid!

His birthday will be special! Having your family celebrate you all day long is awesome! I can't wait for him to start his new school next grade! He will make some new fun friends and they will all be in the same boat, starting a new school at the same time. No one will be left out!!!!!

Camilla said...

I'm so sad for Jake. He sounds like a stellar boy and does not deserve to be treated this way. Kids are so cruel. I think therapy is a great help. What's up with his teacher? Is there any other school in the district you could transfer him to? Have you ever gone and observed for the day? I hope she's not verbally abusive or worse.

Bonnie said...

Ah, man... that really stinks! Maybe Cooper and I will fly out for a weekend. Cooper misses his friend and honestly, they were peas in a pod. They never fought and they could be dorks together!

Tell him that we love him and if he wants, we'll come and see him! OR... I'll split the tickets and you and Jake come out to see us and go to Legoland for his Birthday! That would cheer him up!

Kristen said...

Aww this post made me cry - kids can be so cruel. Jake sounds like a wonderful kid - I hope he never changes. Tel him he has a friend in California :)

raschel said...

:( I don't like these mean kids. I don't even know your Jake and just from the stories you've told us about him (BEFORE this post), you can tell he's such a sweet guy. This brings back bad memories of my middle school/HS times...it's about the time kids start changing and doing wild and crazy things...I wonder if it's an "oldest child" thing and not really knowing where to "fit in"? I LOVED hanging out w/ my family. I never had a million friends either. I want to cry for you...for what you're going through as a mother, and for him...b/c it's so hurtful. For my b-days, I started chosing 1 friend and going to a nice restaurant w/ just my parents, and me, and that friend...i dunno, i guess that way, i didn't have the pressure of having a party and hoping people would come? or not having enough "friends" to invite? plus, i got undivided attention from my parents on that day.

I think you're family party sounds like fun. I'll be thinking about you! I wanna give some hugs.

Kristin said...

Hang in there- I'm a blog "lurker", Mormon mommy up in VA... don't even remember how I came across your blog... I think you were linked to a friend of a friend kind of thing. My 13 year old was going through the same thing. We through a party for him and he had two friends come and we had a cook out and a video game, trampoline extravaganza. It really boosted his spirits. And you are right- kids are so mean! Good luck.

Dana said...

I have tears rolling down my face. Being a mom is hard but especially when you see your child hurting.. kids just suck..hang in there...

Froggylady said...

Kids are so freaking mean! I was reading this and it totally made me think of Chris in middle/high school. Have you looked into boyscouts or devil pups? Maybe a more structured social setting with something he really enjoys would give him an opportunity to meet kids who are more his equal, obviously he is so far above these other kids in intelligence and manners that they don't know how to interact with him.

He'll come into his own and find friends who are true friends and not so superficial, it's just unfortunate that it has to happen while he's so young.

Jess said...

I love Jakob! I will never forget how adorable he was when Austin was gone last summer, and Jake was taking care of you at the end of your pregnancy. My fave story about him is when he got out his notepad to write down your pre-labor sypmtoms in case the doctor needed them. Oh! So precious.

I loved reading your post. You are a great writer.

I know that he will make it through these tough times. He IS a great kid :) I always appreciated how cool he was toward Nate and Brad.

Marnie said...

I was so sad to read this post and hear that Jakob is having a rough time. Kids can be so mean sometimes! He is a sweet boy and some girl is going to have a great hubby 20 years from now. Maybe we should introduce him to Lauren...

Unknown said...

I cried. This is heartbreaking. It's probably worse because it's exactly what I see in my son's future. He's wonderfully strange and creative and I don't know that other children will appreciate it. He does ok at school, but the kids there are mostly younger. When he's around kids his own age, most think he's annoying or weird and don't want to play with him. He's blissfully unaware of it now, but I see it. It makes me want to shake those kids and scream in their faces. Or maybe their parents, I dont know. Ugh. I'm sorry, Jessica. I know he'll be ok, but I'm sad he even has to deal with mean kids. :(