Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Looking for Jack

The minions show affection and love in very different ways, despite being twins, raised in the same house, by the same people, simultaneously.  Molly shows it in a very traditional way.  She cuddles, she asks for hugs and kisses, tells us how much she loves us (unprompted) many times each day, and routinely gifts us with family photos she's drawn or painted at school. I don't think Jack's ever drawn us a picture (unless specifically instructed by someone to do so).   Molly makes a pointed effort each day to ask both Chris and I how our day was, picking up on social conventions and niceties really early.  Jack shows his feelings quite a bit differently.

Sure he still hugs us, and cuddles us, and says I love you (but significantly less often than his sister). Whenever we pick him up, he runs with full force, sometimes pushing his sister out of the way even though he knows he'll get in trouble, just to leap into our arms first for a one minute hug.

Still one of my all time favourite photos of me and my son

Molly is social and gladly lets just about anyone into her world.  Jack does not.  No one in our family wants to force Jack (or Molly) to be affectionate with anyone in a way that makes them uncomfortable).  It takes time to be awarded with a place in his world, which is mostly inside his vibrant and vivid imagination.  If you can make it in there, it's pretty amazing.

There are a few things he does when you're really "in" with him.   I'm happy to recognize these as special gifts of affection as readily as I would a kiss or a hug.  Here's how you know if you're one of Jack's people.

1) He teases you...even if you are an authority figure
Jack routinely calls me a butler....this is because he believes the job has something to do with butts, and come on that's hilarious when you're 5.
2) He gifts you a toy to take care of
A few of our sitters, friends and family members have been "gifted" with Jackie's toys to take home with them, so they can go on adventures.  While many people feel uncomfortable borrowing a small child's toy, they can rest easy knowing that he really wants Sizzles the wiener dog to go on an adventure.  He also trusts that you'll bring back the toy safe.
3) He feeds you
Yes it's super annoying, and distracting, but it's his way of sharing.  Even though it grosses his dad out beyond belief it's fairly sweet.
4) He asks you to party with his toys
Just because Jack is going to bed, it doesn't mean the party has to end.  Once in awhile he'll ask his dad or I to have "some beards" (beer) with a favourite stuffie after he goes to bed.
5) He gifts you with an imaginary friend to live with you
Jack has many imaginary friends, and I was just gifted with one of my very own a few weeks ago.  "Little Guy" is green, and wears pyjamas with stars on them.  He lives on my shoulder and talks to me through Jack every evening when I pick him up.  It's strange, and magical, and wonderful.

These gifts from Jack are certainly unusual, but I'll always remember them, and I must admit I'll be sad when he outgrows them and was happy to use this forum to record them.  It took me a while to wrap my head around how Jack didn't show his love in quite the way I expected, but I'm glad I finally figured it out.

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