To my sensitive boy:
I love you.
Every time you take a deep breath and ask your brother to “please not take my toy right now” instead of melting down and pushing him away, I know how hard you are working to treat him with kindness and love in the midst of your own emotional storm.
Every night when you want Daddy to snuggle with you as you drift to sleep, I understand the closeness and security you crave, and I want you to know that you are so strong, so mature, on the nights when you have to fall asleep alone because Daddy has to study and work. We might be frustrated in the moment, when we’re exhausted and have work to do and sleep is slow in coming to your tired body, but we treasure your open relational heart and value the love that you have for us.
When your brother is sad and you bring him his bottle, or move the stool to where he needs it, or give him a toy to play with, I see your sensitive heart feeling for him and I love your attempts to care for him as best as you know how.
When you adjust your play to incorporate your brother, and gladly accept suggestions I make for including him when you’re having trouble thinking of one yourself, I am so proud of your flexibility and friendship with him. I know how difficult it can be to change things when you had happily envisioned them going a certain way, and your willingness to change for your brother’s sake is such a beautiful thing.
When you search for ways to help me and your daddy as we’re working around the house and outside, I delight in the joy you find in helping the people you love and being a part of our family life, instead of being centered on your own activities and plans.
I love watching you grow and mature while all the while maintaining your sweet and sensitive approach to life, seeing you learn to cope with the disappointments and challenges life brings without losing the unique way you perceive and respond to events and people. When you fall and get back up and keep going, it means more than it does for the average person because of all the falls its taken for you to push through your initial instinctual reaction and be the tough and happy boy you want to be. When you try something new or walk across a high bridge at a playground, your hesitant steps mean more than the gleeful running of the boy next to you, because with every move you are actively fighting your fears and gaining hard-won confidence in yourself.
My snuggle boy, my sweetheart, my big big boy who is so grown up sometimes, and sometimes still wants his mommy to pick him up and hold him “like a little baby”, I love you just the way you are, and I always will.