My nephew turned one yesterday, so I wrote this for him. With the excitement of his party, I realized I never posted it. Sigh. Better late than never…and from the looks of his pic, Jackson obviously wore himself out.

Cake does that to you.

Dear Jackson,

Happy 1st Birthday!

You are such a burst of sunshine in our family. As we’ve gotten to know you over the past 12 months, one thing that certainly stands out about you is your ear-to-ear grin. You are the happiest baby I’ve ever seen, something I’ll admit even though every mother is supposed to say such things about her own children.

Another observation I’ve made about you, little guy, is that there’s just not enough of you to go around. Your other aunt has become known as the ‘baby hog,’ as she calls out first dibs on holding you the minute your cute face enters a room. Bossy Aunt Shel. One day you can tell her Aunt Deb is your favorite.

Third on the observation list is that you lucked out in the Mom department. It’s been fun to watch her document your every move, from wearing a bizarre-looking floppy hat in the pool, to climbing on the dishwasher door, or falling asleep with a golf ball in your hand. I’ll warn you, your mom is a little photo-obsessed, so lock the door when you begin potty-training. Otherwise, it’s say cheese and then you’re stuck with that memory for life, and you can bet it will surface the day you graduate from high school.

Your cousins can’t wait to teach you all the things they know, like how to sneak a second bowl of Captain Crunch, or talk your Mom out of wearing underwear, or pee in the mulch instead of going all the way inside for a potty break. You know, all the stuff your mom won’t like.

Your dad could win parenting awards, but let’s hope you don’t learn some things from him, like imitating Michael Jackson on the dancefloor at weddings, putting the thermostat at 80 because it will bring good luck, and those silly things. Yet, he’s a pretty good golfer and he loves you more than anything. So, the moonwalk every once in awhile isn’t such a bad deal. Just no sparkly glove, please.

Most importantly, your Papaw Mike is watching you from above, and will always be your guardian angel in life. If you ever want to see him, he’s the brightest star in the sky. It’s probably no coincidence that he thought you hung the moon.

We love you Jackson, and hope your birthday is as special as you.

Love, Aunt Deb