on turning three

Dear Eddie,

Today is your last day of being two.

This year has been huge.  HUGE. At the start of this year, you were still my baby.

You still had all your baby hair, and you still needed to be rocked to sleep before putting you in your crib.

You had no words…only syllables.  And you never put more than two words together.

But most heartbreaking, you had no word for me.

I can hardly believe it’s only been a year that passed since that time.

You have grown so much.

In so many ways you are just a shadow of that baby that baby that sped around the house on legs of fury.

I thought I would be spending these days leading up to your birthday sad about the disappearance of my baby.

It’s true that you have had many hair cuts over the last year and that you no longer need a rock in the rocking chair before being tucked in your Big Boy bed.

It’s true that you can do so SO many things “all by your own self”.

But I am not sad about it like I thought I would be.

Instead, I am so proud.

I know that I use this space to speak my heart.

I know I have not held back in spilling the difficulties of your first year, our lack of bonding, your challenging personality as a newborn…shoot your challenging personality NOW.

I know I let my frustrations with your tantrums and your stubborn ways fly out to the internet.

But Eddie, I want you to know that my love for you is so big and so deep that it is almost indescribable.

All of my frustrations and all of my discouragement and self-doubt comes from my intense love for you and my desire to be the best mom to you that I possibly can.

I see myself in you, my Bear.

When you tell me something is scary, I go right back to my three-year old self and remember feeling scared.

When you wake in the night crying, I remember the horrible nightmares and painful growing pains I had as a child.

When people say, “he is a kid; he is resilient, I wouldn’t worry too much,”  I do anyway.  Because I can remember adults feeling that way about me when I was little.  Because when you are little, sometimes big people do not remember that your feelings are just as big to you as theirs are to them.

Your fears and hurts are no less big just because you are small.

In fact, they are probably bigger to you because you are small.

With all of my heart, I want to take those fears and hurts from you and carry them for you.

It is true that our beginning was rocky.

I have even stated that while my love for you never wavered, sometimes it was hard to like you all the time.

I am finding that to be less and less true.

This past year we began to understand each other.  In fact, I think I know you better than anyone else.

I can tell when you need to be left alone.

I can tell when it’s time for a joke.

I am able to pull you out of a funk.

This year you called me Momma.

Now you call me Mom.

A million times a day.

You ask a thousand questions an hour.  You describe your entire world to me as it’s happening.

Because you are learning.  You are growing.  And it’s all important to you.

And that makes it important to me.

You became a Big Brother this year.

Your compassion and concern pour from your heart when your brother is around.

You announce with pride that Baby Charlie is your Baby Brother.

Eddie, you and I are a team.  You help me in the kitchen, with laundry, with Charlie, and with outside work.

This past week you have decided that you are a Big Kid and you are pretty much completely potty trained.

As much as I tell you, and as much as you repeat it to everyone, I am not sure you will ever understand how proud I am of you.

You impress me beyond words.

You are so smart, so kind, so loving, so funny, so creative, so awesome.

I feel so lucky to be your mom.

Never, EVER doubt that for a minute.

I will always, ALWAYS be your mom.  But more importantly, I will ALWAYS be there for you when you are scared, sad, or hurt.  And I will also always be there when you are happy or celebrating.

Today I told you that your birthday is an important day because not only did we get to add you to our family, but it’s the day I became Mom.

Your response?

“I yike that, mom.  I yike that you ah my mom…and I yuv you.”

Oh my heart, Eddie.

You have no idea how much I likebeing your mom.

And I love you like whoa, my sweet Eddie Bear.

Like whoa.

Happy birthday, son.

This will forever be the year you went from my baby to my Big Boy.

Love, mom

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