I want to tell you something so that I remember it and so that you can know that it happened when this day has long past. Yesterday afternoon we went to the grocery store as a family. Just this week you have started to be able to fully buckle and unbuckle yourself from your carseat – a fact of which you are very proud – so when we arrived home you unbuckled yourself from your seat and opened your car door. You got out of the car and closed your door. You asked Daddy for the house keys and when he gave them to you, you went up and unlocked the door to the house. You went inside the house and closed the door behind you. You set Daddy’s keys on the counter and you took off your shoes before going to let our dog out of her crate.
In all this time, I didn’t say anything to you. You did each of these things by yourself without any reminding and your Daddy and I sat in the car (with your younger brother) and just marveled. We were awe struck by your capability and your responsibility. It’s not just that you have grown up and are able to do these things, it’s that you do do them. Even now it makes my eyes a little watery to think of what a blessing your have been to your family, especially as you grow in your role as older brother and Mommy’s helper.
Perhaps you won’t understand this until you have kids of your own someday, but there is a continuum of “helpful”. Toddlers like OBrother are helpful when they slowly and painstakingly put things into the garbage can or when they “wipe up” what they spill. But you are a different kind of helpful, buddy, and you are more big-boy-helpful every single day. Earlier this week I heard you teaching OBrother how to count by having him repeat numbers in order after you. Not only was that a heart-swelling moment for me, it was a beautiful reflection of your genuine helpfulness and love for your brother. You want to help him learn how to be a big boy like you. Sure, sometimes you want to wrestle him to the ground over a lego truck too, but that’s for another letter.
I want you to know that Daddy and I are so incredibly proud of you and we are so incredibly blessed to have you as our son. I know that as this new baby comes you will thrive even more as you fill the shoes of big brother to two little siblings. I also cannot wait to see how much you help this sweet baby girl. And she will need your help. She will need your help to feel safe, to be snuggled, to reach things, to learn things, to cheer up, to feel loved… and if there’s anything I know about you, it’s that you are up to the task. You will rock it, even.
And real quick regarding a significantly less important topic: could you please always like your hair a little long and shaggy? Because it is pretty much perfect like that.
Love you to the moon and back, sweet boy.