Last night, Pierce wanted to snuggle with me on the sofa while his dad and I watched a movie. Within a few minutes of flopping around like a fish taking his last gasps, he finally fell asleep on me. One knee bent with a perfect little foot propped against the back cushion of the sofa, and I was in love! What is it about those miniature hands and feet that tug at my heart so much? I adore them, and I get a little sad knowing that each day they get a little larger and are on their way to the calloused, gnarled, versatile tools that can do many things, except look dear.
I have typed my parenting woes and laughs far more than my gratitude, and have found myself trying to commit certain moments of tenderness to memory so that they can comfort me when these days where I could still protect my children are long gone. If there is any reason to write about my children it’s the list of small things that my mind will soon siphon out to make room for bigger moments, worries, etc.
Today, in honor of the muses that have given me more fodder than I would have ever imagined, I write to each of my boys the things that I love most about them.
You are my first experience with motherhood, and I loved it so much, I did it again! You are so bright! Your dad and I couldn’t wait to see your next milestone as a baby and toddler. Like all new parents, we probably put too much emphasis on this, because naturally, your quick progress proved that we gave you good genes and were great parents. From early on, you showed a propensity for language and memory. It was like you were 40 years old, sometimes. We could explain things to you—especially things you could and couldn’t do, and you understood and honored our reasons. In contrast to your strengths, you had very little mechanical ability, and no patience to try, and neither did I. As a result, you had difficulty with handwriting and any of the small practices that required fine tune motor skills. You’re need for accuracy is uncanny, but paradoxical. Loving to hear the answers to your “why’s” you would retain the information forever! But don’t give you the small details—give you the gist of the picture—the big picture—that’s all you had time for. You are no-nonsense, unless it’s your nonsense! You are a tornado! Moving from one thought to the next before we can address the first one, your mind never stops. You sleep like the dead when you go to bed, and when I sneak in and kiss you, it always shocks me how warm you are. It’s as though you are vibrating at a higher speed than the rest of us. Mikey, you are so beautiful! I never tire of looking at you—those marvelous eyes, that wonderful upturned nose, your perfectly proportioned little body—I love you! I know that you are meant for big things, and that our conventional school system isn’t geared to teach you the way you learn best—through movement and activity. So when school isn’t easy, know that I believe in you. Learn the rules first, and then you can break them and reset the bar. You are brilliant…plain and simple…don’t forget it no matter what is going on outside of you. Be kind, compassionate, and remember that your success should benefit everyone, not just yourself.
You are my baby–second and last of my children. Knowing that you were my last chance to snuggle, hug, and kiss, I kept you near me constantly. You were mellow in utero and just as mellow when you arrived in the world. Sleeping through the night before you were a month old, you were the easiest baby in history. You slept with me in dad’s recliner the first five days of your life, and the bond was sealed–sealed by the flat spot on your head from lying in the crook of my arm. We were worried that you would need a helmet to straighten out that noggin. When it came to eating, we realized that you were NOT your brother. You didn’t like any food, and it wasn’t that you would try it and dislike it, you simply wouldn’t try it. For all of your tender mellowness, you are very stubborn, and you have a mushroom cloud for a temper, when you decide you are irritated with something. In spite of this, you made motherhood look easy. Even-paced and methodical, you explored things without the frenetic energy of your brother. You studied objects and toys to figure out how they worked. Tactile and visual by nature, made you this way, I am sure; whereas you brother seems to take in information through auditory and kinesthetic senses(big physical movement.) I love that you and I can have companionable silences. You are a soothing to my neurosis. I know as a parent it shouldn’t be what I can get from you—it should be what I can offer TO you, but the physical affection you take is so wonderful for me. I love our snuggle time! I love it with both my boys, but you aren’t so hurried to move on to the next thing. You don’t have your brother’s propensity for language, but it’s appropriate to your role as baby. I adore that little voice and all the typical mispronunciations of a child’s vocabulary. I suspect with your nature, that school will be easier for you. You are content at a quieter pace and you already have that comfortable confidence to finesse your audience. You are more nervy than your brother which makes me wonder what lies ahead for us in your teenage years—god willing you will be intuitive enough to know what risks are worth taking and which ones aren’t. I think you may have musical inclinations; since from about 18 months old, we could recognize the tune’s you were singing. Good pitch already has to be a good sign. Will anyone be able to draw or paint? We’ll see…
I love you, Pierce! You’re liquid brown eyes are like sunshine peeking around the clouds warming everyone they smile at. And those dimples…what can I say, you’re a charmer. I thank you for the serenity you bestow upon me in our quiet moments. I don’t know who you will be when you grow up, but I know you will be a kind, easy going man. I look forward to seeing who you become, and like I told your brother, you are only successful if it contributes to the success of everyone.
Thank you, my sons for choosing me as your mother. Thank you for your senses-of-humor, your love and beauty, and thank you for your patience, as I figure out this role and try to give you the best of me.