I've decided that with a new baby coming, it would be a good idea to write a little letter to my older kids so that they can look back and know that regardless how many kids we have, each of them is precious and beloved. This is the second in my four part series, focusing on my second born child.
I often wonder how I should think about you. You're my big boy. My little man. My first born son. My easy baby. Finally a preschooler. We escaped your terrible twos (and dare I say more terrible threes) relatively unscathed. In my head you're still that chubby baby with a grown-up name, even though you're sprouting up in size and wisdom. I can still remember the first time I held you, and your eyes were exactly the same last night when you begged again to cuddle in bed with your Dad and I to watch a special about hockey. As much as you're like your siblings, you're also unique. Your eyes are blue, just like everyone else's, but they aren't an almond shape like theirs. Yours are a little bigger, a little more expressive, and they turn down at the corners, lending you a thoughtful expression. When you smile, your eyes turn into sweet little crescent moons, guaranteed to lift me out of any fog.
I love that you always have such a sparkle in your eyes, I find it hard to keep a straight face. You lift your eyebrows so high in surprise, joy, and laughter. I know it seems silly to talk so much about you physically, but you are so much your body. You own every part of your physical being. You have such incredible command of your body. You are like a force of nature. When you get up in the middle of the night, we can hear you coming from a mile away. Your presence is palpable, even when you think you're sneaking. And your sweet abandon with your body is so engaging and disarming, I find it hard to be firm with you as much as I should.
As much as you are physically in command of yourself, you're also very in touch with your spirituality and emotions. Your emotions come over you at lightning speed. As quickly as tears come to you, you can be soothed into a smile or even a laugh. You feel everything so deeply and love so intensely. You have an ability to love and show your love that is beyond my comprehension. You are quick to forgive, which is helpful since so often I am not the Mama you deserve. Because of your abiding capacity for love, you are rarely taken in by jealous thoughts. You would happily treat your sisters like princesses even if it means you're their servant and squire. Your brother is your friend, not a baby. He is your partner in crime, not your sidekick. You have never made either your brother or your baby sister feel too little or too slow to play with you. You'd happily play an easier game so that they can be included. Your personality is so strong and forceful, but you'd gladly push down your own needs for those around you. I have seen you gladly take the back seat so your siblings can have their moment. That being said, when it's your turn, you shine so brightly. You always have a story to tell, a dance to show us, or a song to sing. You wait patiently, but once it's your turn you demand the spotlight.
You, my son, are an incredible little man. You are curious, bold, fearless, and loving. You have taught me that no child is too young to dream big, love big, and live up to their potential as a child of God. You know as well as you know your own name that you love God and He loves you right back. Faith is a matter of fact for you. When you pray, you are chatting with your friend. When you sing, it's for the praise of God. No alleluia was ever so joyful as yours because you truly think being loved by God is something worth celebrating. You remind me daily how important it is to give my heart to God, because the rewards of peace and joy are greater than I could image.
Even though you are only four years old, I can see so much of the man you will become once you grow up. I can see a lot of your Daddy in you, and I don't think that will change as you get older. You already want to be just like him (you tell me every day) and you are his little mimic. You trail behind him, watching him and following his example of spirituality, generosity, and strength. As much as you drive me crazy some days with your wildness, energy and passion, it's those exact same qualities that make it impossible not to love you. You teach me so much in your openness and innocence. You have taught me the value of simple acts of love done quietly. That a smile or funny face can change the entire course of someone's day. Even in the womb you had a way of making people smile. I still remember when we took a recording of your heartbeat to share with your Godfather as a Christmas present to him. He couldn't tell what it was at first, but when we explained that the sound of the drum he was hearing was your strong little heart, he was as overwhelmed with love for you as we were. He was moved to tears and so were we. Even in the womb, you were breaking our hearts and making them new again. And I love you for every moment of glorious heart-breaking love you have shown me and those around you.
I love you for who you were the moment I knew I was pregnant. Even in the womb you were wild and joyful. The day you were born you already were looking to your Daddy more than anyone in the world. I love you for what you made of my heart the moment I was privileged to hold you and feel your love radiating towards me like an unquenchable flame. You made a place for yourself in my womb and my heart. You've known since birth how to push my buttons. I love you for who you are today, in this moment. The world hasn't touched your heart yet. You are entirely yourself, without care for what the world would like to make of you. You are unbroken and fearless passion. You are a walking emotion. I love you for the man I know you will become. You are too boldly yourself to ever fit into someone else's mold. You will become the type of man who will defy attempts to change your spirit, while still being the type of man that others will try to model themselves after.
I pray that as you grow, you continue to grow in the loving kindness so natural to you as you leave behind your child-like ways. I pray that you keep your joys, your faith, and your boldness. I pray too that no matter how big you get, you never get too big to love me with reckless abandon, in spite of my failings. I promise I will try to be an even better Mommy for you every day. No matter what, I will love you. Always and forever.