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Jensen’s Journey

We celebrated a milestone today.  When my baby went to sleep last night, he was only 4.  But this morning, a 5 year old ambled sleepily out from his room, clutching a Blues Clues Blanket.

“DUDE!  You’re 5!” He blinked a few times, then stated matter of factly, “I don’t feel 5. I still feel 4.”

When you still feel 4, you are more apt to get away with more inappropriate and treacherous behavior, than you would if you were considered a big boy of, say, 5.

It wasn’t until he was opening gifts later in the day that he said brightly, “NOW I FEEL 5!”

When a child celebrates a birthday, I imagine the majority of mothers would sit and dwell on baby books and photo albums.  No me.  I peruse old blog posts.  As hard as it is for me to fathom, I began this blog when Jensen was 16 months old.  He had just started walking.  A carefree phase the preceded several years of unending doctor’s visits, tests, trials, errors, and the guilty tears of not being able to find answers for why my son was in such anguish.

All of those moments were chronicled on this blog.  The incessant screaming upon entering a store, fits of scratching himself until he bled, NOT SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT for the first 4 1/2 years of his life.  Wondering if he was autistic, allergic, hyper-sensitive, or all of the above.

I think the majority of the e-mail I’ve received over the years is Jensen related.  Other moms seeking answers, and not even knowing what questions to ask.  I think that I have felt the greatest sense of community in those e-mails and the comments from the posts that I’ve written chronicling our journey with Jensen.

While most of my Jensen-centric posts have been presented with all the humor I could muster, so many of you were able to see my heart and offer your unwavering support.

This milestone that was celebrated was a joyous one.  We’ve overcome so many obstacles with Jensen.  We have many more to go, but I rest in the knowledge that by God’s grace, he will grow up to be a normal little boy.

If you are just tuning in, in a nut shell, Jensen was finally diagnosed with severe Atopic Dermatitis.  With just a couple of allergies thrown in the mix to keep us on our toes.  We went through a fistful of doctors and specialists to finally find one local allergist who could see clearly the treatment that Jensen needed.

Prior to that, my boy endured painful blood tests, only to be told that he was allergic to EVERYTHING.  And for 9 months, he was restricted from wheat, gluten, dairy, peas, legumes, fish, fruit, plus some other stuff that I’ve blocked from memory.

As it turns out, he’s only truly allergic to dust mites.  And since I rarely serve dust mites for a meal, he can eat whatevertheheck he wants.  We have regiment for treating his skin issues, and I chronicled that in this post.

Short story excruciatingly long, he will likely grow out of most of his skin issues.  We’ve already seen a huge improvement.  He sleeps through the night.  And he’s a normal, LOUD, AND RAMBUNCTIOUS boy who loves deeply, and powerfully.

The other day on the playground, I watched my son march around with a bunch of his homeschooling buddies following after.  Like the pied piper.  His joyous laughter filled the air and lingered in my ears.  I pray he will grow to be a strong leader.  And that God captures his heart and his imagination, all the while holding him close.

As much as I adored 4, I think I’m going to completely crazy about 5.

20 Responses to Jensen’s Journey

  • Big happy tears for you. 5 is much better than 4.

  • Happy birthday Jensen. Our 4 year old just turned 5 not that long ago as well. We have only been at it for a month, but I am thoroughly enjoying 5.

    Our boys seem very similar. Alex too had a host of food allergies at one point that he has recently outgrown, and he also has a skin condition that causes itching and dry skin. Alex is also a very happy, busy, loving, active boy. I love hearing stories about Jensen, because they remind me so much of Alex, and I realize that I am not the only one with such a child.



  • Happy birthday, Jensen!!!

  • Awww. Happy Birthday to your little big boy!

  • (OK, “little” was supposed to be struck through. Does it make more sense knowing that?)

  • Happy Birthday, Jensen!

  • Happy Birthday to Jensen! And it is a testament to God’s provision that you have also made it to his birthday! 🙂 (I wouldn’t have lived through his screaming stage.)

    I think I do relate and laugh to the Jensen posts the most. I have my own Jensen though he’s about 5 months younger. (And walked earlier apparently.) Unfortunately, we’re going through our own allergy issues though thankfully not as severe. As of last week, he still hasn’t outgrown his nut allergy and it wasn’t a fluke that he reacted to the test before. Thankfully, it’s not too major and we haven’t had any issues besides eczema.

    We wish you and Jensen all the best and another great year full of hilarious events (at least how you tell us about them) and happy memories! 🙂

  • Sweet victory! Happy Birthday Jenson.

  • Happy Birthday!

    What did the Birthday Fairy bring YOU?

    I believe that the mommies should get presents on their child’s birth day. If it wasn’t for us, they wouldn’t be here!!! 😀

    Enjoy the day and all the joy it brings!

  • Happy Birthday Jensen!

  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JENSEN! (all caps, just for you!) We hope to hang out at the park with you by the end of summer…wait. I forgot that we will be living in Armpit, FL. OK, we’ll find a pool of icecubes to hang out in (:

  • I have a love/hate with my children’s birthdays. Love another year with them and the adventure of a new year to explore. Hate that my little babies are so BIG, and problems are so much deeper than the poop explosions in their diaper (although they seem equally stinky).
    And yes, I knew this was a safe place for poop humor.

  • Happy Birthday to Jensen!

  • Happy Birthday, Jensen! I can only imagine the joy you have brought your momma and sweet family! Here’s to many more years of funny stories chronicling your life.

  • I love that I have so much chronicled on my blog, too. A great way to reminisce!

    Happy birthday to your big guy. We just read the book “It’s hard to be 5” by Jamie Lee Curtis. Corinne is turning 5 in like, 6 months you know…

  • God is so good, isn’t He?!

    I have a precious 4 year old who will be turning 5 in April. I will admit that I am not prepared for my baby to be big…

  • Happy birthday Jensen! I know he will continue to bring your family untold joy and innumerable blog stories. 🙂

  • I know how you feel. My four year old turned 5 in January. On the morning of his birthday, I picked him up and wondered where my sweet baby went. And when would be the last time that I would be able to pick him up and hold him in my arms. That day is coming all to quick for my liking! Happy Birthday Jensen!

  • What a sweet post! I’m so glad the right diagnosis finally allowed him to be himself! My son has had persistent diarrhea for abt. 7 wks now & we’re trying dietary changes, I know how it can affect their little personalities when they aren’t feeling well!