Sunday, April 12, 2009

Dear Ethan

Tonight as I was putting you and Joshua to bed, I told Josh I would tuck him in first. You piped up from your bed and asked, "Why? Because you love him more?"

Truthfully, this didn't worry me a bit because I know you well, and I know that you know how much you are loved. You said it in jest, and when I called you on it, you admitted with a grin and a flash of your too-cute-for-your-own-good dimples that you were teasing.

But, still, just so you know . . . let me tell you how much I love you.

You were born a short 20 months after your big brother. Yours was the easiest delivery I had as you came into the world with your sunny disposition already firmly in place. You slept for hours at a time, didn't demand more attention than I could spare, and rewarded my hard work with endless dimple displays. (Though you did spit up every. single. thing you ate until you were a year old. That was not so much fun.)

When you were only 17 months old, your little sister was born. You were too young to comprehend how your wold had changed, and I was too preoccupied to notice. I got sick after Lauren was born, so Gaga and Aunt Nae had to help take care of you and Josh and Lauren. You seemed so big at the time, and the natural grouping of "the boys" and Lauren began.

You have always been mature for you age . . . which is no small thing to say to a four year-old. You adored your big brother and were happy to be paired with him. But, somewhere in there, I missed where you went from a baby to a kid. I guess that is what happens when one has babies close together, but it makes me sad to think about it. You have just always seemed so big.

When you were barely two, we took a trip to Washington, D.C. to visit some of mommy's friends. I left you with some babysitters, and when I got back, they told me that you had been a little stingy with your toys and had fussed some. When they found out you were only two, they took it all back. You talked so well and were so mature, they had assumed you were much older than you were. You've always seemed that way.

But, sometimes . . . I see your little face trying to hold back tears, and my heart hurts for you. Of course, I feel that way about your brother and sister, too, but it stabs my heart a little extra when it's you. You who always try to be so big. You who I've always expected more from than I probably should have. You who sometimes can't decide whether you're little or big. You don't like to act like a baby, but it's not always easy to be treated like a big kid is it?

You're a great kid, Ethan.

You are generous, never failing to offer Josh one of the dino eggs from your oatmeal if he didn't get as many as you.

You are smart. Last week you got 14 dino eggs, and Josh got only 8. Without missing a beat, you said, "Josh, I'll give you three of mine," knowing that would give you each the same amount. That's no sorry math for a kid who hasn't even started school yet. And I challenge anyone - adult or child - to beat you at a matching game . . . won't happen, will it, bud?

You are kind. Though you like to pick on your sister and annoy your brother as much as any kid does, you do not like it when someone else suffers. You are quick to give Lauren a hug when she gets hurt or to tell Josh you love him when he is sad. You have the most compassionate heart.

You are easy-going and accept what life hands you. When I tell you no, you don't argue and fuss. When you don't get your way, you get over it quickly and rarely pout or have a bad attitude.

I'm lucky to be your mom, and I think sometimes I need to remember to tell you that a little bit extra so that you never get lost in the middle of your brother and sister. You are a precious, wonderful, irreplaceable gift, and I love you.

Just as much as I love Josh. :)


Room116 said...

That is sooo sweet! It makes me hope that when I have kids (In a few years) that I have a little boy. By the way, I'm extremely impressed by his math skills ;)

ChaseNKids said...

This is so sweet. I got a little teary eyed reading it. You're such a great Mom.

kim said...

i couldnt not say AW. AW.

Jami said...

What a great perspective, and, thanks for sharing the thoughts of a mom with kids close together in age.

Anonymous said... my eyes?? You bet. This is really heart felt by those of us who have small children close in age. I share those same sentiments about my middle one sometimes. Its amazing how cognizant they are of mom & dad's feelings and what they read into our words sometimes.