You came into this world ready to make your mark.
Ready to show every single person, you are not your sister.
You are different in every way.
And I adore every last difference.
Every single one.
Because the second kid fights to make themselves stand out, and I get that.

Sweets, from the day you were born, you fought for you.
You will never need a rescue, even though you want to be, you never need to be.
But your want, your desire for help, I think that's just about spending time together.
And you love to be with people,
you love love love to be with us.

Because you my sweet boy, and this is my favorite part of all of you, you love love.
You love it.
You love hugs
and smooches
and more hugs
and I love yous
and I love you mores
and touching
and hand holding
and hand kissing
and little guy smooches
and closeness
and snuggles.
You love love.
You have made me fall in love with love, all over again.
And your love of love is getting stronger and stronger as you grow and I will cherish and protect it always.

You are joy
even in the raw emotional tantrums
even in the cries and screams
you are joy.
You are a reason to be lighter
your smile is a reason to smile.
You are laughter
and fun
and more laughter
and adventures.
You define joy.

You are childhood.
You, you are childhood.
With its excitement
and its newness
and its raw
and all of the feelings every single day
and every emotion felt from the top of your head down to your toes...
you are the childhood I always imagined.
And I will protect this too.

You are big.
Big emotions
big appetite
big feelings
big tears
big tantrums
big cries
big screams
big talking
You can't be contained in little because you are always ready for more big.

You are always and forever all in.
With food
with fun
with games
with sports
with laughter
with shouts
with tantrums
with happy
with hugs
with kisses
you never sit one out.
Your whole body is in, no matter what we do.
You do not hesitate, you are the definition of all in.

And now, you are five.
You are ready for kindergarten
you are ready for bikes without training wheels
you are ready for responsibilities
you are ready for teams
you are ready to be five.
You are five.

See, I didn't realize that love at first sight existed.
I didn't realize that childhood could be so carefree.
I didn't realize that our family needed another piece of its puzzle.
I didn't realize we were incomplete.
I didn't realize there could be this much joy in one little person.
I didn't realize such a little body could hold so much of everything.
I didn't realize you turning five would be this meaningful to me.

But here we are.
Because I didn't blink and you turned five.
I knew that my baby, the one I rocked, the one I got up with, the one I started an amazing journey with...
would be my last firsts.
And so, I took you in.

Like how I watch you sleep.
I know you know this but recently, I haven't been able to pull myself away from you.
I haven't been able to stop brushing your hair and touching your face.
I haven't been able to stop smooching the tip of your nose.
I take and continue to take you all in.
And lately, I haven't been able to get enough of you.
Because as ready as you are, I am always one step behind but that means I am also your back.
You although you never need a push, who couldn't use a backup?

Happy fifth birthday monkey man.
I eat you up I love you so...
mommy's sweet and low.



The night before you were born, I got ready.
I packed a bag, I brushed Mia, I took a picture with you in my belly, I nested.
But, how could I ever really be ready for you?
Because you were the one and only boy I ever fell in love with at first sight.
You were the baby nurses fought over.
To change, to clean, to snuggle, everyone wanted to be around you.
Because you were always this amazing snuggle love.
And when we catch you finally sitting still, you still are.
You still find your way in to fit just right.
How could I ever be ready for you?


From the moment you were born you were and are always all in.
The way you play, eat, cry, love, hug, smooch, you are always and forever all in.
And you were born with some minor struggles.
Nothing ever too serious, but always struggling a bit.
And that lead to your fight - you are always fighting for what you want (you get that from me).
How could I ever be ready for you?


You were born feeling safe and wanted in this family.
You were born, already loving her, already wanting to always be her partner in crime.
Her side kick, but not her shadow.
Because you were always your own person.
You were and are not going to live in anyone's shadow.
From the moment you started, you let me know that this was your life.
Not a life to be relived but your own brand new life and you were living it your way.
How could I ever be ready for you?


But you do love her.
You do want to be her brother, you want to play with her and make her happy.
You want to be her best friend, you want to share with her and have her share back.
You want to be a part of her life and she will forever and always know your whole story.
She will forever and always be the one that knows you best.
She is the one that protects you.
You are her love at first sight too buddy.
You gave her an important title of sister, and you expect her to live up to it.


And we have learned so much from you little man.
About patience and energy.
About walking towards and away from love.
About you and me.
About the art of parenting and childhood.
About how you define childhood.
About saying yes and limiting our nos.
About how important family hugs are.
How could I ever be ready for you?


And then there is this.
It is so clear that I can't compete with this.
I cannot compete with your dad, your best buddy, and how much you love love love him.
I don't even want to compete with him because your bond is amazing, so strong.
He is your hero, truly your moon and stars.
God, you look to him, reach for him, need him for comfort and acceptance.
Talk about a side kick, you would spend every moment of every single day by your dad's side.
Being his best buddy, his little man.


And our bond is pretty special too monkey.
You have allowed me to really learn how to be most comfortable in motherhood by growing through the discomfort.
You ask for me to snuggle with you
you ask for me to hold you
you ask for me to play with you.
You still ask for me to hug you,
I still ask for little guy kisses,
you still ask for me to sing you "Sunshine",
we still have a glorious part of us.
How could I ever be ready for you?


And so, at four, continue to be all you.
All in you.
All about fun and loud and climbing and go go go and screaming you.
Continue to put your foot down.
Continue to demand respect and to be heard.
Continue to demand us to stop and be with you.
I know I cannot slow you down, you throw me forward.
So in all of the chaos, the crazy and the joy...
you be you.
Because I tricked myself into believing I was ready.
I cleaned, we got a room ready, I read back up on all to expect,
but you, you had different plans.
You wanted to shake things up.
You wanted to test and grow
you wanted to be unpredictable.
You wanted to teach,
and lead.
And so, how could I ever really be ready?
For all of this love, all of this crazy?
How could I be ready for your love of life?
Your adventure
your energy.
How could I be ready to say good-bye to all of my firsts with you?
How could I be ready to put away baby and grow with you?
How could I be ready to have my heart this full?
I simply can't.

Happy fourth birthday little monkey man!
God, you have brought us so much sunshine and so many tornadoes and I thank you for every part of it.
I continue to
eat you up I love you so
mommy's sweet and low.

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