Two boys? They’re hard work. I never expected to have children; it simply wasn’t in my life plan. Luckily that decision was made for me (both boys were accidental surprises) and I’m glad I got these two boys.
My firstborn: I love that you tell me I’m the best mother in the world. Even though I know it’s not true, and it’s only because you don’t know any better. You accept me as I am, and love me even though I am tough on you and sometimes seem a little mean. You know forgiveness and understanding beyond your years, and I’m grateful for it.
I’m not always as attentive as I should be. I’m not always as patient as I could be. I expect a lot from you and it’s easy for me to forget that you’re only 8 because I barely remember what it was like to be just 8. You’re so big and so tall, it’s easy to forget that you’re still little. That you’re still learning boundaries. That you’re still learning how to be you.
I love when you put your hand in mine, as we’re walking through the shops. I love that you’re not (yet) ashamed to kiss your mother goodbye in the school parking lot. I love how curious you are, even though it means a million questions I can barely answer. I love how hard you’ve tried this year. I know it’s not easy dealing with ADD, when you barely know you have it. But you’ve persisted, put in the effort at school and with karate. I’m proud of you.
I love how big and selfless you are with your little brother. How you don’t mind when he raids your room for toys or wants to watch Planet 51 for the umpteenth time. I watched you helping him climb the jungle gym at the park the other day, and my heart almost burst. When you give up a toy you’re playing with because your brother wants it, (and wants it purely because you’re playing with it) these kindnesses don’t go unnoticed.
I love how you got your dad’s blue eyes and my family’s big ears. That your feet have grown two shoe sizes in the last few months, because it means you’re going to be tall. But I know that no matter how tall you get, you’ll always be soft-hearted. You’re the kind of person that wants to avoid conflict as much as possible, and that’s okay. I’m that kind of person too. Your dad is right about having to learn to stick up for yourself, but there’s plenty of time for you to learn that still.
My secondborn Toffee: I love that you showed me how much room there is in my heart. Despite the fact that you’ve turned out to be more hard work than your brother ever was. Those people who said second babies are easier? Lied. You were easy in the first few months, but as soon as you learned how to communicate and how to demand your own way, that phase was over.
Dealing with your stubbornness tests my patience daily. You’ve subjected us to meltdowns in the supermarket, bawling sessions that have lasted longer than an hour and you’ve just about done our heads in with your spectacular ability to whine, but we still love you. Because you have a wicked smile, and an infectious laugh. I admire that you know what you want, and that you’re not prepared to compromise what you want. I know that it will serve you well as an adult. I’m just trying my best to survive you as a toddler.
You’re more independent than I expected, constantly telling me “I’ve got this” when I offer to do something for you, or help you. This pleases me. Self-reliance is important. But at the same time it breaks my heart just a little. As your dad says, it’s a little sad not to have a baby in the house anymore. You do things in your own time, and I’m learning to accept that. Trying not to push you. I didn’t get it right with your brother; maybe I’ll get it right with you.
I love the way you look up to your big brother. Even though you’re not yet 3, you’re already sticking up for him. I threatened to give your brother a smacked bum the other day and you immediately admonished me: “don’t hit my brother, mommy!”. I suspect when the two of you are grown your brother might be bigger but you’ll still be the one sticking up for him.
I love both of you. I love that I get to be your mom. You fill my heart and my time with good things. You fill my house with mess and noise. You fill my arms with hugs. I wouldn’t have it any other way.