You are three months old today. Almost exactly this time last year, your dad and I were house-hunting here in Grand Rapids and discovered we were expecting you. It is our first good memory of this place. (And what could be better than that?) Back then, we could only imagine what you might be like, how much we might love you, how you might fit into our family. Now a year has passed, and we are settling into a routine as a family of four. I’m faced with that old familiar feeling: I can’t believe it’s been a year since we learned of you and three months since your birth, but at the same time, it’s really only been 3 months? It’s like you’ve been here forever, somehow. Sure, I can remember what life was like before you were born. It’s just that I wouldn’t want to ever go back; now it seems that something was missing from our lives before. Everything is new, but somehow so familiar.
I’ve already packed away the newborn clothes you’ve outgrown and washed the next batch of larger footie pajamas. It makes me sad and wistful, but I will never say, “Please stop growing,” or “Slow down.” (Well, sometimes I say it, but I try not to.) I don’t want to take for granted the gift of your health, your life, your presence. And I can’t wait to see you grow! I am eager to see the toddler, the boy, the man you’ll grow into.
You are the sweetest little guy. You smile and coo easily and often. You love music and reading books; you sing and talk along with me as we go. If you see one of us walk by without picking you up, you squawk as if to say, “Hey! Don’t forget about me over here, guys!” You still hate tummy time but try so hard to sit upright when we’re holding you. You want to be a part of the action.
Though Ian occasionally tries to banish you to your swing, he loves you too. He brings you toys, tells me what it is you’re saying and thinking, and points out what you’re up to. “Leo looking at me!” “Leo talking now, Mama!” “Leo like that yummy milk.” Certainly, there are times when he gets jealous, and I am not too naive to know that one day, you will fight and disagree. But here’s what I want you to know: your brother has been on your team from the beginning.
And I think that’s what I want to say most to you. Was life simpler with only one baby? Yes, of course. Do I sometimes feel overwhelmed at the task of being your mom? Yes, certainly. Do I sometimes feel as though I’m simply muddling through this awkward newborn phase, not sure what to do with you all the time? I do. But what’s more true is this: you were always meant to be a part of our crew. Our team wasn’t complete without you in it. I guess I could sense it back then, but I know it with certainly now.
I love looking into your dark gray eyes, watching your fluffy dark hair grow longer bit by tiny bit, listening to your little voice develop and change. As I write this, I’m dying to get home and snuggle you some more. To feel your warm breath, hear your little baby sighs, squeeze your chubby little tummy. I love you as deep as the sea and as far as the stars.
Hugs and kisses,