Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Letter to My Son on His Third Birthday


Dear Scotty,

You’re only three years into this thing called life, but if you had a better command of the English language – or access to Blogger, I bet you’d have a few choice words for me...

You’d probably tell me that you are more than mildly irritated that I have blogged about your heavily-soaked diapers, your idiosyncrasies with regard to your afternoon nap schedule, or your thin yet sharp-as-tacks fingernails. And I bet that if you had a blog of your own, you’d retaliate by regaling readers on the condition of my ratty nursing tank tops, my less-than-pleasant morning breath, and how I double-dip my spoon in the peanut butter jar when (I think) nobody’s looking.  

Okay, touché.

But that’s when I’d lovingly remind you that every so often, I cool it with the depreciating humor, unabashedly bear my heart, and declare how you are, unequivocally, one of the best things to ever happen to me.

This is one of those posts.

I remember when you were, oh, say, about three months or so, it would take several attempts to put you down for an afternoon nap. But really, I didn’t mind. I rather enjoyed the closeness we shared as I walked around your room, bouncing you in my arms until you finally dozed off. In fact, I confess that I held you a little longer than I needed to because I simply didn’t want to put you down. The cadence of your breath was almost music-like; your soft, fleshy cheek felt like marshmallows nestled against my shoulder; and your chubby feet looked like two half-moons stuffed inside a pair of white socks.

A year later, we shared a similar experience: You fell asleep while we watched Bubble Guppies together; your head against my arm, and your right palm flush against my swollen, pregnant belly, as if you were already welcoming your unborn baby sister. (Of course, you were thinking What exactly is going on here? when Dad brought you to the hospital to meet her for the first time. But all things considered, you’ve taken well to becoming a big brother – save for your inability to share certain toys. We’ll have to work on that, kid.)

What a difference another year makes. Today I held that same palm as we headed off to another morning of playgroup. You are still a bona fide Mama’s Boy, yes. But you’re welcoming your independence more and more each day, and the enthusiasm that emanated from you like vapors as you skipped across the parking lot was bitter sweet: While I am happy to see you grow, I am also a little sad that I am losing my little boy.

When I looked – truly looked – at your small hand, your life flashed before my eyes. I wondered what that hand would one day hold, where it would take you, and what it would enable you to do…

In the coming year – which I predict will go way too fast – that hand will draw, paint, or color one-of-a-kind artwork which I will herald as the best masterpiece known to mankind and promptly tape to the cabinets in the nook.

A few years after that, I’ll hover over that same hand at the kitchen table as I help you with your homework…and then slap it high five when you come home from school and tell me how well you did on a test.

More years will pass, and it is my hope that by then that hand will have experienced the enjoyment of philanthropy – maybe it’ll help build a home or serve food to someone in need.

Career-wise, perhaps you’ll find yourself in medicine, the arts, or somewhere in between. Regardless, I pray that your hand will contribute to work that is not only gratifying but fun.

Then, before long, you’ll be all grown up. Maybe you will have even been bitten by the love bug, prompting that hand to ask for someone else’s in marriage. That is, if I haven’t already ruined your chances by writing embarrassing blog posts about your infancy. And if that turns out to be the case, I’m sorry. But if she runs for the hills before really getting to know you, then she wasn’t The One anyway.

Now, where were we? Oh, right. Your hand.

When I kiss the palm of that hand – you do realize I will continue to do this until you go away to college, right? – I still can’t believe my good fortune. Frankly, I marvel at the fact that I helped make it.

It is my best artwork.


Love,


Mommy


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26 comments:

  1. Ah I can relate to so much of this! And, as a mom of 5 year-old twins who just started Kindergarten, I can say that their lives move at lightening speed. It's so awful!!! But, sounds like you are cherishing it as much as any mom can. Happy birthday to your son and many, many more!

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    1. Allie, having just had to take your sons to K this year -- and having two, to boot -- I bow to you. Scotty is two years out, and already I find myself being incredibly sad this fall because I know that this is the last one he'll spend at home with me. (next year he'll go to preschool...)

      Bitter sweet, I tell you...bitter sweet.

      Thank you so very much for commenting.

      xo

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  2. Aw, Simply beautiful, Courtney! I had to giggle cause I always told my boys they are the best thing I ever made. FYI- he will always in some way be a momma's boy....they all are! And it's a good thing! Happy 3rd Birthday, Scotty!

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    1. Good Morning, Susie, and thank you so much. This post was so very emotional for me to write, and, -- even now -- the act of responding to comments is stirring emotions in me all the more...

      I love my boy to pieces. And watching him grow up is hard. I know I'm not the first Mama to go through this, and I'll be far from the last, but...it is hard.

      Thank you for his birthday wishes.

      xo

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  3. Beautifully, beautifully written! I, too, sometimes look at my children and particularly at their hand and see how much they have grown and wonder what the future has in store for them. My "babies" are now 15 and 11, the time has gone by in an absolute blink of an eye!

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    1. Hi, Angela! Now, why, pray tell, am I crying right now? WHY? You've walked this walk before, what with your children's ages. Please, PLEASE, tell me this gets easier.

      (My hunch is that it doesn't.)

      "Babies" is right: That is ALWAYS what Scotty and Kennedy will be to me...

      Thank you so very much for your visit and comment.

      xo

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  4. So sweet and those hands do change so much... *sigh* Happy Birthday little boy and it's only up from here!

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    1. The hands...the toes...the legs...heck, I could go on and on about the obvious signs of our children's growth...it's like you blink -- you go to bed and wake up the next morning, and the change is apparent beyond belief. (smh)

      I'm so very emotional, Dakota. I cannot help it. Lord, help me through this...

      Thank you for Scotty's B-day wish. :-)

      xo

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  5. Aww this is simply beautiful Courtney! I always love reading about your kiddos! Cherish these moments because they do grow up fast. I'm at the stage you describe of sitting at the kitchen table helping with homework and giving high fives when the girls does well on their test. Happy Birthday LIL Scotty!

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    1. Oh, thank you, Louida. Thank you...

      Fast does not even begin to describe the speed at which our children's growth occurs. It is downright thrilling. It's also exciting, yes, but also scary.

      I am cherishing each and every day -- as I know you are as well...

      Thank you for commenting.

      xo

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  6. Gave me goosebumps. So special. Happy birthday to the little man!

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    1. Thank you, Dina...it still makes me tear up (sniffle, sniffle; lol)

      Thank you for stopping by and sending b-day wishes to S. :-)

      xo

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  7. That's a beautiful letter. You're so sweet! Happy Birthday to your son!! :)

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    1. Thank you, Lexa! How are you? What's new? Hope you and your Hubs are doing well...

      Thank you for Scotty's birthday well-wishes!

      xo

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  8. Oh my friend, I love this! You know he is totally going to read all of this in a couple of years. Good thing you start redeeming yourself quickly!! Hope we had a wonderful day!!

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    1. I know, right? Actually, I don't write about any of his personal/baby details on THIS blog...but I did in one of my earlier blogs, which I no longer update I addition to making it unavailable to the public. ;-) In addition to not wanting to air any more of his dirty laundry (pun intended; lol), I wanted to go a different route with this blog and make it more about lifestyle as opposed to making it a blow-by-blow of my children's lives -- not that there's anything wrong with that, if one should choose to do so. It's just that that is no longer the direction I wish to go in...

      Thank you so much for visiting, you have a wonderful weekend as well, and, of course, enjoy the football games this weekend, my friend!

      xo

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  9. Lovely Courtney! You're right - it just goes way too fast.

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    1. Ugh. And the kicker is...it always will. I find myself missing the days when Scotty was an infant...but I also know that when he's in high school, I'll look back fondly on this time when he was a preschooler, you know?

      It never, ever ends.

      Thank you for commenting.

      xo

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    2. I know...my oldest is just entering grade 4 - and my youngest is starting to wear his brothers toddler clothes. It went so fast!

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  10. Awww...my son just turned 3 too, and I was filled with so much emotion. I was so surprised that I was able to hold it together the night before as I watched him sleep. And I'm so amazingly proud that I didn't fall apart during his birthday party at school. They are such a blessing! Great post!

    Thanks so much for sharing on Turn It Up Tuesday. We love having you! :)

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  11. Hi, Natasha! And thank you for your kind words! I know that we are kindred spirits, of sorts, being that we have sons so very close in age...

    I'll have you know that I am high-fiving you from here in Michigan for the utter and complete strength you demonstrated by not falling apart during Micah's party! That's awesome!

    Thank you for visiting and commenting.

    xo

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  12. Oh my gosh Courtney! I loved this. This is absolutely beautiful and I'm bawling like a baby... because as a fellow mama I can totally relate. When my daughter turned 3 in July, I was a mess, it just really hit me that she really isn't a baby anymore. Plus, with her being my last, I felt sorrowful that I wouldn't experience that "babyhood" stage again until I'm a grandmother.

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful post.

    Wishing you a lovely day.
    xoxo

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    1. Jennifer, and I can relate to your comment on SO many levels!!! OMG...

      For one, I remember when your daughter turned three this summer and thinking "I'm going to try not to get too sad because I've got a few months yet before I'm walking in Jennifer's shoes..." And, then, lo and behold, here it is: MY turn of the box.

      Jennifer, I know you know what I mean when I say this particular birthday is bitter sweet. Yes, I've still got Kennedy, who will turn one in a few weeks, but, trust me, I'm already sad because she is our last child also.

      Sigh.

      This mom business can be tough at times, huh?

      Thank you for commenting.

      xo

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