Happy one-month birthday! Oh, what a joy it has been to have you in our home these last few weeks. You have already cemented your place in our hearts.
|c/o Katie Hart|
I adore your sweet, if a little feisty, personality. You’re such a peaceful baby, but you do have a bit of second-child in you such that you’re not afraid to make your needs known if you feel they’re not being adequately addressed. You really love to be held and, unlike your brother, are a total cuddler. Fortunately, you LOVE being in the Boba, and contentedly snooze in there while I do all manner of things from cooking to playgrounding to attending church meetings. You love being in bed with us; though it’s not ideal, if you keep up with the 6 and 7 hour stretches, I promise I won’t complain too much.
You’ve loved getting to know the people who love you. You’re smitten with your Daddy, and he with you. I’ve loved watching the special relationship you have with him blossom, even in this early time. Your grandparents cannot get enough of you and are constantly trying to devise ways to come over and see you and your brother. Your sweet little smiles have a way of sending us all into raptures.
In the last month, you’ve already initiated and experienced your fair share of miracles. While we’d decided on your first name a while back, we really struggled with your middle name. Several days after your birth, and at the very end of our grace period for including your middle name on your social security records, your dad gave you a blessing in which it was made abundantly clear to both of us what your middle name should be. It’s an Indian name that means “light,” and you’ve certainly lived up to that ideal. You have a way of brightening the room and understanding the needs of those around you that truly is unique. I can’t wait to see how you continue to fulfill its meaning.
Kina, I sometimes feel bad that I can’t give you quite as much attention as I gave to your brother. I feel guilty that you’re destined to a life of hand-me-down books and clothes. But then I realize that for you, my heart was already expanded. It was already open and enlarged to the wave of love that was ready to fill it. You are so special to us, and your sweet little face gives me the biggest rush that I can enjoy more fully because I was a little more ready for it. I hope you know how much we treasure you, and how grateful we are that you love us back. Love you forever, baby girl.
|c/o Katie Hart|
Happy 2nd birthday! It’s been a little while since I’ve written you one of these letters, but I figured you deserved one for the grand occasion of turning TWO! Baby boy, I cannot believe how fast these last couple of years have gone by. You’ve grown from my tiny little infant into the sweetest, smartest, most hilarious toddler, and I love you all the more for it.
In the last few months, you’ve really been building your vocabulary. You’re speaking in full sentences now, and spout off well over 500 words. It’s so fun to have little conversations with you – you really are my little buddy as we go out and about. You are just learning so much right now – you’re always pulling out new phrases and numbers and descriptions. I love hearing about your dreams and the things you find funny (like seeing shapes in your food).
It’s been so fun for me to see you bonding with Kina. You’re the one who coined her nickname, and it suits her perfectly. While you weren’t overly interested at first, you’ve become such a good big brother in the last couple of weeks and regularly look out for her and alert me to her needs. You’re so observant and notice both her and those around you and try to serve them. It’s one of my favorite things about you – you truly love to make others happy.
I also love how enthusiastic and passionate you are. You’re not one to sit on the sidelines – you love being right in the middle of all the action, whatever it is. You get so excited about things, and I love that you’re not afraid to express it. To me, you’re the embodiment of one of my favorite quotes, “Nothing’s interesting if you’re not interested.”
And you’re interested in everything. You love music and singing (both the traditional children’s songs and anything by the only composer whose name you know, “Beethoven!”). You adore books and could read them all day long (some of your favorites are The Lorax, The Cat in the Hat, and the Llama Llama books). You love any sort of moving vehicle, along with the movie Cars (your first and only movie – a special treat while Daddy was on paternity leave). You would live outside if we let you, eternally content with sticks and rocks and playgrounds. You’ve developed a newfound love of coloring and puzzles. Everything is a game, including cooking (which you adore) and “clea-MUP!” At your birthday dinner with your grandparents, the pianist at the restaurant played “Happy Birthday” for you and you started clapping and loudly exclaiming “YAY!” right after – you were just so enthused by it all. I cannot tell you how much I love this age with you.
|Installment 1 of Cars; Making bread|
You have a knack not only for learning, but for teaching. You are kind to everyone around you, and so forgiving. You love hard and fast. A couple of weeks ago, I was feeling vaguely annoyed with someone for no good reason. As I was putting you to bed, your love for this person was abundantly clear in your nightly prayer, and it made me realize my fault. Immediately, a surge of gratitude for this person rose up in my own heart. You have a way of not only seeing and seeking the best in those around you, but also of causing the best to come out. You’re independent, yes, but you’re also fiercely affectionate. You’re still a mama’s boy, and show that love in hugs and sweetness, and fun and affection for your daddy.
The morning of your birthday, your dad and I were up too late, but that meant that we got to ring in your birth on the very minute – 12:24am. As those minutes passed, I lay in bed reflecting on the variety of emotions I’ve felt since that moment. I remember feeling so overwhelmed and exhausted right after delivering you. I felt uncertain and a little disconnected from everything in the weeks after you were born. But most of all, I felt a crushing love for which there are simply no words. Time has only increased that love to proportions I then had no capacity to understand.
|You know I couldn’t resist buying her outfit when I saw it at the thrift store, knowing he had these shorts at home…|
My Nat, I love you. I’m so grateful for these last two years of being your mother. I hope you know that although my attention may be divided these days, my love is not. Lucky for all of us, Kina’s arrival has only made me love you both more. Thanks for being my buddy, my confidant, my teacher, my student, my comedian, my interpreter, my friend, my son. I love you, small.