We have had 20 months together.
Just me and you… and sometimes dad, of course.
In the short 20 months you have been my son, you have taught me more than I learned in the 25 years I had before you.
You taught me what real fear looks like–fear that something might happen to you or fear that I may fail you somehow.
Of course, you also taught me what real faith looks like—a faith that weathers all the woes that parenting brings.
God has seen us through a lot in 20 months. He has seen us through sickness, surgery, tantrums, impatience, frustration, many many sleepless nights, hard falls, road trips, incessant and seemingly unnecessary tears, and He has most certainly given me grace during the many moments that I have reached my wit’s end.
In 20 months, I have begun to grasp that God has given me an incredibly gifted and special boy. There have been many moments when I’ve looked at you and thought, nope I can’t do this. You are a daredevil and a troublemaker. You have a glint in your eye that seems to say, “Catch me if you can, mom.” You have worn me out and worn me thin with your nonstop energy and your ceaseless and unmistakable personality.
You are feisty. You are opinionated. You are strong-willed. You are a fighter. These are the reasons it has been challenging to be your mom for the past 20 months, but these are also the reasons it is extraordinary and thrilling to be your mom every single day.
I became a mom on the day you were born. I know this may seem rather obvious to you, but becoming a mom actually has quite a learning curve. I knew very early on in your existence, when you were still inside me, that my main purpose in life was to just be your mom. This is why I don’t teach anymore and I spend my days raising you. It is and always will be the greatest joy of my life.
And as your dad often says, you are such an awesome little dude.
For a long time, we thought your dog, Remi, might be your favorite. If Remi was around, no one else really mattered, especially your parents. Although, now you and Remi resemble siblings more than you do friends, constantly badgering one another and picking fights. I often feel like I already have two children. Remi is better at taking your toys than any of your human friends.
You and your daddy are two peas in a pod. You look like him. You even walk like him. You love everything he loves, and you most definitely make just as much of a mess of mom’s clean house as he does. You shout his name constantly throughout the day, even though you have understood for some time that daddy has to go to work. It is so obvious to me, already, that you want to be just like him. I see you watching him, imitating him, and attempting to be a man, just like he is. Each time I see this, I ask God to slow time down, to let you be a little boy a little longer. You will be a man soon, so for now, you can just be my little boy.
You get your eyes and your sense of humor from me. You laugh a lot, just like your mom. Your laughter reaches up into every corner of the room, consuming everything in its path, so that even when it dies away you can still feel it and know that it was there. The way you look at me and laugh with me heals my every worry and fear. No matter how imperfect the world may seem, when you laugh, everything falls right into place.
You are one of the most social children I have ever known. You definitely get this from your mom. You love everyone and you truly believe that everyone loves you. You want nothing to do with your parents when there are other people, even complete strangers, around. Sometimes, I already feel like I am raising a teenager and that I am just not cool enough to keep up with you. It’s really not a great confidence boost, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love to watch you come alive in the midst of others, and I love the smiles you bring to all their faces.
Just like your mom, it is imperative that you get out of the house and see other people every day. You have been like this from the very beginning. Even at a few weeks old, I would bundle you up and whisk you out of the house when I had no other answers to stop your crying. Once you had other things to see and hear, you were happy and so was I. You are still this way—always on the go. If I need to keep you cooped up for an entire day, we are both hurting by the end of it. Our favorite time of day is in the morning when we go to the library, run errands, go to a park, go to playgroup, or just go wander the mall. It’s all the same to you, as long as you aren’t stuck at the house. This is the part of you that drives your daddy nuts. It’s the part of me that drives him nuts too.
Your sibling has been on the way for about 9 months now, and many times throughout the 9 months, I have wanted to warn you, to get you to understand, that things are about to change. I have caught myself wanting to apologize to you—wondering if we should have given you more time to be an only child. I worry about the guilt I may feel when you lift up your little arms toward me to be picked up, and I already have your sibling in my arms. I worry about the confusion you may feel when you miss story time at the library or playgroup because your baby sibling is causing all sorts of trouble. I worry that I may not get to sit with you for 45 minutes at a time, just reading stories, with no other care in the world.
I never have to worry about these things for long, however, before you show me how incredible you will be as a big brother. You point at the infant car seat, which is a new addition to the backseat of our suburban, and say, “Mom! Baby!” You point at my tummy and say, “Baby!” You always move blankets away from a baby’s face so you can have a better look, and never fail to reposition his or her pacifier. You are so young, yet seem to understand exactly what’s about to happen. You were born to be a big brother, and I was born to be your mom.
In a few short weeks, you won’t be my baby anymore, but my oldest born. I will constantly be asking you to be a big boy and take care of your sibling. However, the memories we have made together over the past 20 months will be a treasure in my heart for the rest of my life. I will always remember when it was just you and me, and I will cherish it.
This is far from the last change we will experience.
Someday another sibling may come along, making you the oldest of three.
Someday you will go to school and discover a whole new world outside your parents.
Someday you will be a teenager, and those looks you give me– like I am your everything– will be rare and fleeting.
Someday you will become a man and discover a faith of your own, a life of your own.
You and I will change along with each of these life changes, but one thing will remain the same: I will always be your mom and you will always be my boy. I will pray for you each day of your life, no matter where you are or what kind of incredible human you grow into.
Soon, you will have a sibling and things will be different, but my love for you, just like God’s love for you, will endure and never falter.