Seven years ago today in Cincinnati, Ohio, we welcomed Jack Henry McCollum into our family. And our family changed with this new person–my light switch child I called him, because he was either very happy or very unhappy with not much of an in-between.But we settled in, Adam finished another stage of school, and before we knew it, a year had passed and we celebrated Jack’s first birthday at our new home in Alabama.He was definitely a momma’s boy. And I remember exasperating moments with this boy wrapped around my leg as I tried to walk. But what fun the five of us had together! Isaac and Stephen took great delight in studying Jack and caused us to see things we might have missed. I’ll never forget watching them mimic Jack’s first toddling steps. And then we were celebrating birthday number two and welcoming another baby into our family.I love how he loved Gabriel from the start. He wasn’t jealous a bit over this new person joining our family. Never has he complained about sharing birthday celebrations with his momma and little brother. He has a tender, generous heart. And I must have blinked, because at some point in this year, our baby changed into a little boy of 3 years.And time went faster and faster. And our journey took us away from our Alabama home and far away to Minnesota on Jack’s 4th birthday.And there we made snow angels and ate snow ice-cream and painted snow forts. We hiked nature trails and went on bike rides. And on his fifth birthday we celebrated with friends both new and old, since Betsy came to visit her sister Lucy and we had a party all together.And he started school and amazed us over and over again, seeing things with different eyes than his brothers. He joined in the play acting and reveled in the stories. The training wheels came off his bike and he ran off with his brothers exploring, no longer afraid to leave my side. And on this 7th birthday we are back in our Alabama house where he builds, explores, learns, and can work with his Pap. I love to see him find enjoyment in his work. I love to watch him figure things out. I love his tender heart. He is still our light switch child, and still I sometimes get exasperated with this boy of ours and want to fix the switch in the happy and kind position, but I am so thankful for him. I think back to that little boy clinging to my leg and I look at this boy almost shoulder-high and I understand well the word “bitter-sweet.” Happy 7th birthday, Jack. You are loved.