Wednesday, September 10, 2008

To Thomas...

Dear Thomas,

Your brother Ben is now the age you were when he was born. This should make me think of Ben, but it makes me think of you, and those weeks and months and now years after Ben was born.

We had you to ourselves for 3 1/2 years. You had a mom and a dad and you didn't have to share us with anyone. If I babied you a little, well, it was natural: you were my baby. So what if I still fed you every morsel of food (can you just see me spoon feeding spaghetti-o's to a 3 year old?), or if I called you Baby or Sunshine more than your actual name? I didn't have anyone else to call or treat like one, and so you were the magnificent beneficiary of all that undivided love and attention.

I can still remember how you suddenly catapulted into Big Kid-dom. It happened a few hours after I had Ben, when you came and visited me. The little hands that wrapped around my neck were suddenly much larger than I remembered, especially with other smaller hands to compare them to. Part of your world now included the role as big brother, which brought responsibility to your life that you'd never experienced. There was no way I could prepare you or myself for those changes.

I know this is the burden of all big brothers and sisters. But I'm sorry that you had to bear it. I watch Ben now (at the age you were then) and I still see him as little, and yet I remember thinking of you as big. What a dichotomy. Each day that you grow older, you are the big brother, and so I see you as big. But when I look back at your younger self in pictures, I remind myself that you were little.

One of my favorite passages is from the Poisonwood Bible. It says that your first child is your best foot forward, and you glory in each step and milestone and crow it to the world.

I've done that with you your whole life. You are my original experiment, and I am still learning how amazing you are, and how amazing it is to be the mom of a 7 year old. But I wish I could go back in time again to where you were my little one, rather than my big. I wish I could go back and be a little more understanding of 3 1/2 when I had newborn. I wish for that for one minute we could be sitting on our hospital bed the morning after you were born, gazing into each other's eyes. I'm proud of who you are, but for one minute I wish you could be this boy again.

I hope that you don't hold it against me that you had to grow up in my heart.

Love, Momma


Thomas Family said...

Oh my gosh! How cute was that... I can't believe Thomas is 7 years old. It seemed like just yesterday he was just this cute little baby that was so tiny! I don't have to tell you im sure you already know.. I miss seeing you guys as often as I used to when I just lived down the street. :( I need to come down there more.. Better yet, you guys should come and see me! and My new but kinda old house! :)
Love you...

Anonymous said...

I LOVE your cute boys!...........and their mama too.

Jeff and Kayci Bitton said...

That was so sweet Beck! Thanks for sharing that with us. I too want to be back in the hospital with Grace. I realize it every day how BIG she is and I have heard so many times of how that "big" is going to get bigger once this baby comes and I don't really think I want that...yet:) Have a good day! Love you!

Stephanie said...

That was beautiful. There really is something special about your first child--although you love ALL of your children oodles. You just love them different ways. Your last line hit me kind of hard-- how we let our "babies" grow up in our hearts. Sad! Yet necessary. Thanks for sharing your sweet moment!

Jeanette said...

I have been trying to comment on this post all day and my computer is finally letting me.

This is such a sweet poignant post. I can so understand where you're coming from.

And while I don't really have that special bond with my oldest cuz I don't really have an oldest, I understand what you're saying and I know how hard it is to realize they aren't babies anymore. But now matter how old they are, even though they aren't babies physically they will always be our babies emotionally.

It still hurts my heart to know my boys are so old, I would give everything I have ever had and everything I ever will have to be able to go back in time, knowing what I know now, and cherish the moments. Not be in such a rush to get through the day, not be in such a rush for them to grow up.

Spend more time rocking, more time singing, more time reading, playing games. Just more TIME! I don't want to go back to that first day in the hospital for all the tea in China LOL but maybe the first day they came home =0P