I decided to stop making numbered pancakes for Jacob this year. I’ve made pancakes in the shape of the grade each of my kids are in for their first day of school for years. It’s become such a tradition for my older son and daughter that they march right into the kitchen on their first day with huge expectant grins on their faces waiting to see their custom breakfast.
But for Jacob, I always just make his number and take a pic…knowing that he isn’t in that grade. This year he would technically be classified in the 3rd grade (he's a summer baby). The closest thing we have to a “grade level” is at church where he just graduated the kindergarten class. We are hopeful that he will be able to remain in the 1st grade class. It doesn’t have free time and the kind of structure that kinder did, so we still aren’t sure. Jacob is super smart, but the idea of him growing up seeing these numbers that don’t apply to him made me sad. Why have I continued to do that? In my mind I have these silly expectations that really only bring heartache, all while I could be celebrating his unique talents.
So, I made Jacob a big ole fat chocolate heart pancake this year. A heart to represent how much we love Jacob just as he is. A heart to represent how much we love his hard work and his silly personality. A heart to represent that we will always accept him no matter where he stands educationally or how many milestones he’s met. A heart to represent how much we love when he talks, sings, stems, and every other little thing about him. A heart to show him that we can celebrate him just as he is. As he grows up and becomes more like the boy God created him to be and less like the boy I have envisioned or made up in my mind, I hope that I can continue to grow in my acceptance and understanding of him. It’s not only ok that he doesn’t have a “grade” to fry up on the stovetop, it’s extraordinary. He is unique and that’s something to celebrate!