Friday, May 3, 2013

Dear Aidan

Dear Aidan,

Within the next couple weeks, your life will be changed forever. Mine will, too. In a couple weeks, this "baby in mama's belly" will make her grand entrance and, I have to admit, I'm a bit worried about how it will affect you. There's so much unknown. I don't want you to feel forgotten or replaced. After all, you've been "my baby" your whole life the past 33 months.

I've been thinking a lot about when I went into labor with you. We were so excited and anxious to meet you! It seemed like almost everything that could go wrong after a perfectly healthy pregnancy, went wrong- emergency c-section and then you being in the NICU for almost 3 weeks while they tested for strep b, meiningitis, treated an infection, monitored your blood pressure, heart rate, we tried to teach you to eat etc. I remember panicking, but also feeling calm and knowing that everything would be okay. Your grandmother asked one of the nurses if you'd "be okay and develop as a healthy little boy despite all of the birthing complications" and I remember thinking that, of course you would. You were such a fighter- everything that was causing the doctors to worry would suddenly be gone the next time they checked. I think that was an example of your faith, too. You have been one energetic and healthy boy since then!

I see you now and I wonder, "What will I do with a baby that cannot speak to me and tell me exactly what she wants?" You've learned to ask (and demand, at times) for exactly what you think you need- even if it is that you "need choc-co-let".

I love that you are already so caring and kind. I was worried about being pregnant while also having such a rambunctious and energetic toddler. Toward the beginning of my pregnancy when I was so exhausted from working and the hormones and just feeling so sick all of the time, you were always there to comfort me and you would be calm.

One particular day, I remember I was feeling extremely tired and had made multiple trips to the bathroom. You'd stand next to my legs while I was hunched over the toilet and spit into it next to me and then get me some toilet paper to wipe my mouth. You've always been great at providing a little comedic relief when it's needed! I came over to the couch and plopped myself down with my head hung over and you came and just hugged me. Other times, you'd go and get your blankie and "babies" and bring them to me and rub my hair and say, "It's okay, Mama. Daddy was often gone at night with school, but we somehow made it through those first almost 20 weeks of pregnancy together with you helping take care of me in the evening. I know it was tough to not have me playing cars with you on the ground or doing other activities that you enjoy many of those evenings.

I'm grateful that you made me a mom. I know that I'm not always the best at being patient with you or having the most creative activities for you and I don't always take you outside when you want to go out and that you get frustrated with me. But I'm grateful for your overall patience with me as I try to figure out this parenting thing and balancing what I want with what you need and want.

You are an absolutely amazing boy! You have such a great sense of humor and I love that you do silly things purposefully to make us laugh- whether it's making silly noises with your mouth or pretending like you're falling over or playing games of peek-a-boo or blowing raspberries on my belly. It's so funny to me when you pretend to not know what something is and then giggle and make it a guessing game.

I love when you ramble on with stories that sometimes don't make the most coherent sense with such passion and expression. Your most recent one has been about a motorcycle crashing and getting "super big itty bitty owies". You sometimes tell stories where you are obviously trying to say some words, but it comes out as mush with a bunch of vowels and consonants strung together yet your expression is just so engaging and priceless. You laugh and giggle and your eyes get so wide. You are such a great story-teller already!

I love when you start to say and do things that Daddy and I say to you. Sometimes, it helps me realize how ridiculous I must sound to you. Other times, it's a reminder that we must be doing something right. Like, today, you put a piece of tape on my arm insisting it was a bandaid covering an owie and then lightly patted my arm and said "It's okay, Mama. It won't hurt. I kiss it better." and then kissed my arm.

I love that you are able to be so tough and roar and jump and climb and throw and then be soft and cuddly at other times. I love that every night you still insist that I be the one to put you to bed and you ask to "cuddle me". I know that I won't always have such a willing boy to cuddle with me in a rocking chair or on his bed when you get older, but I still hope you will cuddle up to me on the couch as you get older.

I love watching your relationship with Daddy flourish. He cares about you so much. I want you to know that not many Daddys would willingly stay home all day with you like he has for the past year while I've been working and then still be interested in spending time with you during the evening and weekends. He always does fun activities with you, too. It's amazing to hear the way he speaks about you. When we were talking about having another baby I remember he said something about how "knowing how much he loves and cares about you just makes him so much more excited to have that with another child." I hope you always continue to appreciate and love your dad and all that he does for you. It's so fun to hear you talk about "going on rides in the jeep with Dad" and "going up on the mountain with Dad". I'm always a bit jealous when he sends me pictures of you two on your adventures.

I love your excitement for church and praying. I'm sure you don't understand a lot of it, yet. But I always love when you're saying your nightly prayers and you'll look up at me and ask if you can pray for something. Your first non-prompted prayer, you prayed for Buzz Lightyear. Now, you'll pray for things like "daddy feel better" "Avalon to sleep" "Go play with doggie" "Go to nursery" and other things on your own. I love these little examples of how your mind is working and what you're aware of.

I'm amazed at the boy you are growing into. I can only imagine the great things you will be able to accomplish in your life. I hope that I can be a good example to you and give you all of the things that you need to thrive, excel and grow. I hope that you will continue to be curious about the world around you and continue asking questions and I really hope that I will know how to answer your questions, but if I don't, I bet Daddy will know and we'll go ask him.

I hope that you will continue to find the balance between being tough and being "soft". The world and culture around you will just want you to be tough all of the time as you get older, but don't get caught in that lie- you only really get to know other people when they are being vulnerable and those are the friendships worth keeping. It's okay to be sensitive and caring.

I love how you will talk to Avalon through my belly button and lay your head on my belly (which as you said today "the baby is getting so tall and big!") and just "cuddle and listen to Avalon". Today, when she gave you a little kick while your head was lying there, you just laughed it off.

I know that you will be an amazing older brother. I'm sure you'll be very protective of her. I hope that you and Avalon will be close and that you two will always look out for each other. I hope that you can teach her and be a good example to her.

I hope that you will always know that I love you and know that you have brought so much love, joy and excitement into my life. I hope that over these next few months when I am sleep deprived and trying to re-learn how to take care of a newborn that you will be patient with me and also remind me that I need to spend alone time with you, too.

I'm so excited for you to be a big brother! I hope that you know how much I only want the best for you and that you know that I absolutely, unconditionally love you (even when you are smearing poop all over the carpet and door). Thanks for being my baby boy.


1 comment:

Carly LeBaron said...

I swear, becoming a Mommy makes your tear ducts overactive because reading this almost made me cry! Aidan is such a wonderful little boy and we have been so lucky to watch him grow up with you. You are an amazing mom, Lauren, and we can't wait to see your sweet little family grow! Can't wait to meet you, Avalon!!!