I Don’t Wanna Grow Up

I still tuck Jack in at night. We usually read two books before bed to help him wind down and then I turn off the lights, lay down with him, and we chat for a few minutes. Last night we had to skip reading books because he hadn’t done his homework at the after-school program. Homework ended up eating up the evening and I tucked him in after 9pm.

He didn’t think he could fall asleep without reading books. He told me that they helped him with his fears. He is so scared and he doesn’t even know why. I think it probably has a lot to do with all of the VERY BIG THINGS he has to handle at such a young age, along with his great imagination. The world can be big and scary when there is no end to your imagination and you know that bad things can happen to good people.

Like cancer to a child.

I looked at him, his eyes wide with fear while he tried to hold back tears. I told him he would be okay, that we would protect him. Nothing could come into our house and get him – he has parents and a big dog to keep watch.

We can’t keep cancer away, though. He knows that. His fear persists.

I studied his face, looking at the nose so like mine and the eyes just like his dad’s. Suddenly he looked so grown up to me, even with the fear and the tears. “You are growing up so fast,” I murmured.

The tears burst from him and he exclaimed in a panic, “I don’t want to be grown up already!”

“Oh, honey, don’t worry! You’re still a kid! You can take all the time you want to grow up! I know you’re still young – you just look big to me, especially next to your little brother. Don’t worry, you’re not grown up.”

That seemed to calm him somewhat.


Jack holding his little brother.

Then we talked about getting ready for Christmas – picking out our tree this weekend and maybe watching A Charlie Brown Christmas. He’s never seen it, so I told him about what a dope Charlie Brown is and how he picks the worst, saddest little tree. Jack laughed out loud at that. Ridiculous Charlie Brown!

Then he said, “Maybe he picked that tree because he knew no one else would pick it. He was being nice.”

“I think you’re right,” I told him, and we said goodnight.

A Wish Come True in Time and Space

After waiting nearly two years, Jack’s wish finally came true.

Initially he’d told Make-a-Wish he wanted to meet Lady Gaga. He made a dance video to the tune of Monster (which was the first time I’d ever seen him dance!) to send to her and he waited patiently for his turn. But he kept slipping further down the list due to kids in more urgent health situations and then Lady Gaga got injured on the road and canceled all her shows in order to get surgery.

In the mean time, Jack’s interests evolved and he became obsessed with Dr. Who. He will debate with you about the scariest aliens in the series and has strong opinions about which doctor is the best (the 11th Doctor, played by Matt Smith, is #1! Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor is #2 and David Tennant comes in at #3). Jack has watched Dr. Who almost every day for the past two years or so. He rarely watches anything else.


Doesn’t he look like a mini Matt Smith??

Last year we decided to give his room a little makeover since we wanted to build him a loft bed anyway. We did our best to turn his room into our (weak) interpretation of the TARDIS. We had limited money, but Jack was happy with the results. He’s got a good imagination, after all, and was able to fill in the blanks.

Not soon after, we talked about his wish and he decided he wanted to change it. He wasn’t very interested in Lady Gaga anymore. Instead, he wanted to meet the aliens from Dr. Who. Unfortunately, Make-a-Wish has a rule that the kids can’t switch from one celebrity wish to another (due to the long wait lists), so Jack settled on a more extensive room makeover that would add a console to his room and really make it into a TARDIS.

He submitted his new wish back in November and then we waited. During the wait, Jack made a lot of comments about how he wished he really had a TARDIS so that he could bypass the waiting altogether. Since the project was so unique, it took some time to find the right designer to work on it. Eventually they found Julie Giampaoli from Showcase Your Place, an interior designer in the area who was up for the challenge despite not knowing about Dr. Who!

She knows now!

Julie and Make-a-Wish pooled together some awesome resources and on July 22nd, the team arrived to get to work. I’ll admit it – I was more than a little nervous when they started drilling into my ceiling. But this was Jack’s wish and I just had to trust the process.

We were not disappointed. This video of the room reveal shows Jack’s stunned reaction pretty well:


And here are more extensive pictures of the process:

Jack LOVES his bedroom. He says it’s “too awesome!”

We are all so very thankful to the Make-a-Wish Foundation, their volunteers, and supporters for helping bring Jack’s wish to fruition and put some magic back into his life. We will treasure this experience for the rest of our lives!

Not Your Average Kid

Jack doesn’t like juice. He prefers milk or water (no bubbles!).

He won’t eat pizza.

He doesn’t like being dirty or sticky.

He gets upset for characters in books and trees that get cut down.

Jokes about bodily functions offend him and he refuses to even talk about those things. (We had to stop reading the How To Train Your Dragon series.)

As far as he is concerned, Band-Aids are the devil. He will absolutely not wear them. If somehow he gets one put on (like after a vaccination or a lumbar puncture, it’s hell trying to take it off him.)

He won’t wear shorts or tank tops. In fact, he’d like to be fully clothed (with sleeves) at pretty much all times.

Sponge Bob annoys him.

He thinks everyone should be able to easily draw like he does.

He will put himself in time out at school if he feels he’s done something wrong.

He doesn’t like guns.

He likes for his clothes to match.

His tolerance for others’ silliness is low, even though he is quite the goofball when he feels like it.

He loves things that other kids would think are spooky – aliens, monsters, bugs, etc.

He doesn’t sing or dance. He doesn’t like when others do it in front of him, either. He does hum when he thinks no one can hear him, though (but gets upset if you DO hear and comment on it).

He loves his long hair even though people mistake him for a girl often.

Choice Quotes From Jack

Some of my favorite quotes from Jack’s twitter account.

(Holding up Yogurt Drops and Wheat Things) “I feel up for a little fusion.”

Those are old school cool! They’ve been around since I was like 1 or 2.

Why is it so peaceful here? I want to be a hero but there’s no chance here!

In the sense that I have all the parts I need, I’m complete. But in the sense that I’m still growing to be a grown up, I’m not complete.

The bad thing about getting older is that things get harder.

Sometimes I eat more sophisticated chicken.

I feel like chicken filled with whipped cream instead of muscles.

You know why I’m like this – it’s because of the droids! (Just wrapped up a week of steROIDS.)

Being all amazing and things is not hard at all for me.

Maybe in the future, maybe in 20 years, we can learn to make magic happen.

I have three parts: good parts, bad parts, and dragon parts.

You can’t touch time. But a clock can!

Milk glues bones together in a tasty way.

TARDIS Room Makeover Results

I know you have all been waiting on pins and needles to see Jack’s TARDIS room (those who weren’t probably have no idea what a TARDIS is – so, fyi, it’s basically a time traveling space ship from the British TV show Dr. Who – on the outside it appears to be a police phone box but inside it’s infinite). If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you should go back and read the post about turning his bedroom into a TARDIS, otherwise this post won’t make a whole lot of sense.

Firstly, the room turned out pretty well and Jack LOVES it. He spends so much more time in his room now and he is much better about keeping it clean. There is so much more than can be done but David already got a raging cold during this process and I got a case of pink eye from spending so much time in a tiny room with lots of paint fumes. Plus, we’re pretty broke now. :P

Anyway, please know that I’m a terrible photographer and Jack’s room is fairly small, so these pictures are not good at all. I know you can’t tell, but the bed is painted a silvery gray and the walls are a golden yellow (to make it look lit up).

Here is the horrible, disgusting, embarrassing BEFORE picture:


Here is the door to the TARDIS (paint color is Elmer’s Echo from Kelly-Moore and the decals are from bioblitz on Etsy):


It’s bigger on the inside…

This is the loft bed that David slaved over using plans from ana-white.com (we wanted to go with a bed that had stairs and a platform rather than a ladder to make it easier for Jack to get up and down when he isn’t feeling well) and painted while I was away at Type A:


I recreated the lights inside the TARDIS using cardboard cake rounds, a sharpie, and some cellophane, then used double-sided mounting tabs to stick them to the wall:


This is Jack’s view (at least, what my phone could capture) from atop his bed (before it was painted):


You might notice we do not have the control panel coming down from the ceiling with all the levers and buttons to control the TARDIS. That part stumped us – partially because we are concerned about it taking up all the space we created and also because it will be expensive and complicated to create. BUT Jack has changed his Make-A-Wish and it sounds like they are going to come create the control panel and maybe add some other awesome finishing touches to the room (maybe more storage)! So we are off the hook for that part – woohoo!

We are so proud of how this turned out. Jack finally has lots of space to play and a (clean!) room that he loves to spend time in.

The only downside is that now we can never move…