In three days, you'll be an entire year old. I can NOT believe it, and yet it seems like you've always been a part of my heart and our family. You bring such joy to each one of us, each of us getting something different from your wonderful little self.
To Jack, you are brother. There is something different, special and hilarious in the bond that they two of you already share. You have looked past your daddy and me and have given Jack the honor of your first word. You call to him at different times through out the day, but there's no way to miss what you're saying when we go to school to pick up the big kids. "Ja?" "Ja." "Ja?" "Ja?" over and over until we find him. Then you flail about in a motion that you used to only reserve for me...we call it "swimming". You already know that Jack is a safe place to play. You guys sit on the road rug and drive your cars around. He lays on the ground and you beat feet over to crawl all over him and drum on his chest a time or two. That you love your brother there is no doubt. And he loves you, little one. He beams with pride when you reach for him. He squeals with delight when you pull his hair. He talks with genuine tenderness and love as he greets you in the morning. You are his brother!
To Samantha, you are baby. And you always will have two mother hens pecking over you. Sorry about that. Actually, no I'm not sorry about that. Samantha is brilliant in her mind and her spirit. And her love overflows for you, even though she sometimes struggles to let you grow up. She is compassionate and tender and will make a SUPERB mother one day, and you're giving her lots of practice early on. Thank you, Son, for being patient with her and helping her fulfill part of who she is. I pray that one day you will see her for the intelligent, caring, protective sister that she wants to be and that you'll forgive her if she struggles with being a little overbearing.
To Daddy, you are the "I'm not going to miss one single thing" baby. Which is very ironic since he's been gone WAY more with work since you've been born. But this final go-round, your daddy is different. He's into the baby-ness of you. He's into your version of playing together. He's into teaching you his version of playing together. He's into showing you the world, and showing the world his last son. And this has NOTHING to do with you guys sharing hair color. It's because HE'S different. He was wonderful with your brother and sister, but he's even more wonderful now. God has blessed you buddy with an awesome dad!
To me, Little Lovie, you are my side kick, my constant companion. You don't have to go to school (yet, thank goodness) and you don't have to go to work. So, it's you and me all day. And MAN, do I love it. There are times where you are content to be toted around on my hip. Times when you want my attention so you run to the stairs and stick out your left leg (not sure what you're doing with that leg thing, but it's consistent and funny!). Times when you just CAN'T resist the pretty blue button that flashes on my computer. Times when you fall asleep in my arms. Times when you're so tired you just want me to lay you down. Time. That's what you and I have. For a little while.
And so as you turn one this weekend, I want you to know that I choose to celebrate the time that we have together, rather than mourning the passing days because I know without a doubt (your brother and sister have proven that to me) you'll leave me one day. I pray that as we spend our precious time together that I'll be able to imprint my love upon your heart and in your life the same way you've imprinted yourself on all of us.
May you be blessed, Son, with all that God has to offer. May you rise up and walk with Him every day, as He leads you on the path you are supposed to take.
Much love, My Precious!
Dearest Samantha and Jack,
You've both given me clear signs today that you're ready to sore in school. And as much as it pains me, Jack, I will let you walk down the hall to your classroom by yourself. And Samantha, I saw your eyes dart into the classroom as I leaned down for my goodbye kiss this morning. So, I'll keep our kisses my little secret.
I will always be here, my jewels, to comfort, praise, encourage and guide as you need me. Thank you for showing me grace as I struggle to let you be the people I've raised you to be. You make me so proud.
With all my heart forever,