Thursday, September 1st, 2011 • No Comments on A Letter to Patrick
I’m sorry I haven’t written you more often—after you were born I had every intention of writing you a letter every month. But the time slips by and my intentions fall by the wayside even while I marvel at all you have learned and accomplished in the time I have known you. You are just shy of being 21 months old and I cannot believe that in three months my sweet baby monkey will be turning two. I still call you my baby even though you are very much a toddler, into everything and exploring the world. I can see the little boy you are becoming and, because you have your father’s features, I can imagine the man you will be. You are everything I could want in a child and so much more than I ever expected.
It is just after midnight on September 1 and these are the last few hours that you will be my only child. Your baby brother will be born this morning! After you, I wasn’t sure I wanted any more children or if I could have another one even if I did. You were something of a miracle-surprise and it seemed too much to expect that we could be so fortunate again. But miracle-surprises happen sometimes—and sometimes they happen more than once. We were very lucky. The time has flown by and in a few days, we’ll be bringing your brother home. He will be moving into your old room because it is smaller and much more suitable as a nursery and you’ve been given a bigger “big boy’s” room, which has caused me a bit of sadness because I can’t think of you as a big boy. Not yet.
Even though your father and I are excited about our growing family, there is a part of me that will miss these months of it being just the three of us. For the first five months of your life, it was just you and me—learning about each other and muddling through the best we could until we found a rhythm and routine that worked for us. It was a difficult but amazing experience. And while I was so very grateful to have your father home from deployment, I did miss the time you and I shared alone. This is no different—it is an adjustment and a very good adjustment at that—but things are about to change for our family once again and I know I will look back on these weeks and months and feel melancholy for a time when you were my only baby and we were a family of three.
I have no doubt there will be ups and downs in the coming weeks and I will likely count on you to be more patient and well-behaved than I have any right to ask of you (not that you’re not a terrific kid, but you are still a toddler!). And yet I suspect you will surprise me in this as you have surprised me in so many other ways. You are so smart and funny—and so sweet and gentle with animals (real and stuffed) that I know you will be a terrific big brother. Like I said, I can’t really comprehend you being a “big” anything—but I know when we bring your brother home and I’m reminded of how helpless he is and how much we have to learn about him, you will seem to have grown up right before my eyes. And your familiarity will be a comfort when your brother is crying and I can’t figure out what he needs. (I’m also counting on you to use your big brother magical wisdom to help guide me!)
I know you won’t remember being the only child in our family, but I do hope that you will love having a brother. I hope you will be playmates and confidants and, yes, partners-in-crime in a good natured way. While every change is adjustment, it’s hard to see anything negative about this change—there will be more love and laughter in our house, more fun and silliness and toys. You will have someone to grow up with and your father and I will have two amazing little boys to raise. All good and wonderful things. I will try very hard to remember all of that in the coming months when I’m trying to cope with sleepless nights with your brother and those defiant toddler moments you sometimes have.
Thank you for being my first baby, Patrick. If not for your amazing personality and sweet smile, I might not have even considered going down this path a second time. You have made it all worthwhile and I suspect I will feel the same about your brother. But no matter what, you will always be my first baby—and for the next 7 hours you are my only baby. Thank you for coming into my life and rocking my world in the best possible way. You are, now and always, my baby.
Mama loves you.