Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Letter to My Boys

You've changed so much in my eyes in the last month that at times, I can hardly believe you're the same boy.  But really, when I think about it, becoming a big brother has just magnified your best qualities and made me realize how much I appreciate those things about you.  Your sweet nature, your eagerness to help and your goofy personality add up to what can only be described as the best big brother there ever was.  

Don't get me've had your share of extra neediness and crankiness as we transition to a family of four, but when it comes to Bennett, you are over the moon about him, and watching you instantly fall in love with him is easily at the top of my "best moments of life" list.  It's like when you were born and I fell in love with Daddy all over again in a new way because I watched him become a father.  The same is true for you.  Watching you become a big brother made me fall in love with you all over again in a totally different way.

The first thing you do when you get up in the morning and get home from daycare in the afternoon is go looking for Bennett.  You smile at him with this look of pure adoration that I wish I could bottle up, and then come the kisses and hugs, always with a gentle touch.  When he cries, you ask, "What's wrong, Baby Bennett?" and suggest to me or Daddy that "he's prolly hungry" or "he prolly need his diaper changed."  In the car, you hold his hand, sing him songs you made up, and adjust the shade on his car seat so the sun's not in his eyes.

Speaking of sweetness, we just went to your daycare parent/teacher conference last week and your teachers gave you rave reviews for kindness, politeness and general skill level for your age.  You still need to work on standing up for yourself when you get upset, but if that was your one area of improvement, I'm impressed.

You've grown up so much, or perhaps it's just that you look SO grown up to me now that Bennett's here. You're tall enough to reach the strangely-high light switches in our house, and all your 3T shirts and pants are too small.  You now have no trouble putting clothes on by yourself, including your shoes, though you prefer for us to help you.  You've finally gotten strong enough to open and close our sliding glass back door, which you are VERY proud of, thank God, because the dogs always need to come in or out when I'm on the couch nursing Bennett.

Another pleasant side effect of Bennett's arrival (selfishly for me, anyway) is that you're more cuddly with me.  You've always been a Daddy's boy, but the older you got, my cuddles from you generally only came at night during bedtime routine.  Now, I get random snuggles all the time, some even with comments like, "You're my best friend, Mommy" or "I love you SO much."  I'm hoping it's a side effect that sticks around.  If not, I'm soaking up all I can get now.

I'm so, so proud of you, sweetie.  There are just no words.  And I can't wait to spend the whole summer with you!

I love you more, 

How is it that one month has gone by so quickly, and yet I feel as if I've always known you, like you were always a part of our family?  I wasn't prepared for how instantly and ferociously I'd love you.  How I could spend hours studying every detail of your face and still never tire of looking at you, or how you would feel familiar from the first moment because, "Oh yeah.  Of course it's you."  It's like you snatched up pieces of my heart before you were born and now they're yours forever.  I'd forgotten how that happens.  

In looks, you have almost all of Gavin's features, though your hair is dark, and your lips are all your own.  Still, I find myself looking at you and wondering how I gave birth to the same child twice.  You and Gavin look so much alike to me that I constantly have déjà vu, probably not helped by the fact that you're wearing mostly hand-me-downs from him.

Even so, I'm loving discovering who you are, including your quirks.  You love to be upside down.  Not all the way or anything, but when we're holding you, you constantly push back so your head is hanging over our arms.  You also don't really like being up on a shoulder.  Not to be burped, soothed, anything. You prefer laying down or facing out so you can see what's going on.  You do love to be swaddled at night, and will give us a good five-hour stretch of sleep because of it.  Unfortunately, that five-hour stretch usually starts at 8 or 9 o'clock, which means Daddy and I don't benefit from at least the first hour.

You're a voracious eater, and have been right from the start, which is why I affectionately call you "my little sharky."  When you get fussy because you're hungry, Gavin says, "You want to eat again, Baby Bennett?" and then says to me, "He eats all the time, Mommy!"  You're already 12 pounds at a month old and wearing three month clothing.  You don't appear to be slowing down any time soon.  But to be honest, I'm incredibly attached already to your full cheeks, double chin, and chubby thighs, so keep it up!

You've been very smiley right from the start, too, and I believe we're starting to get some real social smiles now instead of just gas.  Frankly, the glimpses I've gotten of your dimpled right cheek have me craving more sweet smiles from you.

You've been a little sneezy the last week and I'm hoping you're not getting your first cold.  With an older sibling though, I'm sure the first one isn't far off.  

I'm happy you're here and that you've fit so seamlessly into our family.  We are so, so blessed by you, little man.

I love you more, 

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