To my children…

You are two really amazing little people. And of course I can’t believe how big you’ve grown so fast. I know you’re both still so young, but I can’t help but feel like you’re slipping away from me as you grow. I keep thinking this sadness that comes with knowing that your kids are growing up must pass eventually. I want to ask all the moms of grown kids, “it gets better, right?” But I know the answer. I see it in their eyes when they urge me to treasure every minute because “they grow up so fast.” It’s not just a perfunctory platitude; it’s a truth you hope every parent will take to heart before its too late.

Of course, it only hurts to think of you growing up because of how much I treasure my little ones! This incredible, beautiful, terrifying challenge is the love and joy of my life. Admittedly, it is also the reason I sometimes lock myself in the bathroom and just sit there alone for a few minutes. But just a few. I really don’t want to miss too much.

Corbin, I marvel at the idea of your first birthday. I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since that early morning excitement when you were finally on your way into this world. I was worried about not feeling as intense of love for my second. I worried that I wouldn’t enjoy a boy as much. Of course that all went right out the window instantly. I have such a fierce and abiding love for my little boy!

You are a lover. Every morning, no matter how many times I’ve hit snooze, when I get you out of your crib, I sit in the rocking chair with you and we just snuggle for a few minutes. It feeds my soul. I used to sit you on my lap and your little face would just flop right against me. Now you’re a big boy and you stand and walk and sit up just fine. Thankfully, you still flop your little face against me. But you’re just as likely to sit up and clap your little hands together and beam with pride.

You get so excited! About toys, new skills, new foods. You love when your daddy tosses you around. Your smiles are all big, bright, and dripping with drool. Over the past few weeks you’ve been working on your walking. You smile and laugh as we all cheer every time you take steps. You’re up to walking across the room now. But those are the easy steps. Comparatively.

I hope that your dad and I will be able to raise you to be a wonderful little boy and, eventually, a good man. I hope you’ll play baseball and catch snakes and bring all of your delightful boyness into my life and our home. And that you’ll love your momma forever, but not be a “mama’s boy.” That you’ll always respect women and girls as your equals and treat them accordingly. That you won’t leave me too far behind when you someday meet the right girl. I hope that you’ll someday stop waking up in the middle of the night. 🙂

And Lorelai, where can I even start? You are such a big girl. I love watching you grow up. All of the phases and all of the knowledge you are gaining at such an astounding rate. You already seem too grown up for my preferences. I wish we could start at the beginning and do it again. Because that’s how much I’ve loved raising you. I never knew that you were EXACTLY what I needed until you came along.

Boy have we had our ups and downs, and I know that there are so many more to come. You are the most spirited and independent child I can imagine. I joke that we’ll probably do more than our share of fighting as you grow up but that one thing is for certain: I’ll never have to worry about you giving in to peer pressure or to anything you don’t think is right. I hope that I’m right. I hope you’ll maintain that independence and I know it will carry you far. Hopefully not too far away from me. All of my visions of the future have you in a starring role.

While the thought of you growing up sometimes saddens me, the actual process of you growing up is heart-achingly wonderful. Literally full of wonder! I love to look at you on any ordinary day and see how grown up and little girl you are, both at the same time. I love to see you learning, always learning. When we drive to stores now, you ask me what letter it starts with and you look and look for the sign that means we’re there. I love the way you talk with inanimate objects and always have some story world going on. I love to watch you play mommy to your toys and dolls. They have names now. Every name used to be Mommy, Daddy, Grandma, or Lorelai. But now you name them original names, and they spend a lot of time bein’ in trouble for not listenin’. I’m not sure how to feel about that. I love how you make songs about everything.

I LOVE when I hear your little, excited voice say “Little Brother, let’s play with this!”

I think parenthood comes very naturally and easily to some people. For me it’s a great big (lovely) challenge. I know I don’t do it all right, but boy do I try hard. I want to do my best. I want you two to be happy and good. I want you to have courage and integrity, most of all. I want you to be humble and grateful. I want you to forgo prejudice and pettiness. I want you to stand on your own two feet, to play hard but also take pride in hard work. I want you never to eschew what you truly value in pursuit of material gains. I want you to appreciate Family. I want you to know, to never question, that you can do and be anything you put your minds to.

Today we celebrate your birthday. Both of yours. I have often felt sort of bad that neither of you get one special birth day, all to yourself. But I also sort of like the idea that you’ll always be sharing.

I really don’t know that I can take much of the credit, but boy are you great people so far.

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