Tuesday, May 13, 2014

to remember: Levi, 2 and 3/4

Dear Levi,

There's so very much I want to remember about 2 and 3/4 year old you.  

You are smart. You are curious and you have an insatiable hunger to learn.  You want to know what everything is called, who everyone is, where we are, where we are going, what we are talking about. You soak it up like a sponge.  Everyday you add new words to your vocabulary and your sentences are lengthening and getting more cohesive and sophisticated.  You love books and ask for books to be read to you constantly.  After reading all throughout the day (25 on average?), you still insist on reading by yourself before bed (sometimes for hours!).  There are times when we find you passed out in the middle of a huge pile of books. 

You are FUNNY. Like, really funny. I think you were born with a natural inclination for humor (or else you picked up on your Dad's humor awfully quickly). You try to make us laugh constantly and you are usually quite successful.  No matter how bad a day is going, you cheer us up.  We have a constantly growing notebook called "Levi-isms", so we never forget your two year old humor. One of your favorite jokes at the moment is calling people by the wrong name (you spent an entire week calling me and your Papa "Jonny" and "Sarah") and you love making up funny, often rhyming, names for things and people.

You are friendly and you make friends wherever you go.  You especially love older kids and will follow them around and try to do whatever they do.  You give your friends and family hugs and kisses and ask about them all the time. 

You are kind and sensitive.  If you see me upset, you come over and offer your blanket and ask if I have a "tummy ache".  You tell me it's going to be ok. When other little ones cry when they are dropped off at church nursery, you run over and say "It's ok. She'll be back!". 

Even though you go through the trials and turmoils of most toddlers (the occasional tantrum, grumpy day), you learn quickly and always apologize when you've acted out.  On the really bad days, when I lose my temper and have to ask for forgiveness, you give me extra hugs and we always make up quickly.  I hope you'll always know that you're my dear boy and I'll always love you, no matter what. 

While I had your little sister in my belly, you always seemed so excited to meet her and you would hug and kiss my belly and ask when she would "pop out". Even so, everyone would warn me how the baby would turn your world upside down and how you'd probably be jealous and/or act out. My dear, you have done just splendidly and you are so much more of a great big brother than I could have imagined.  When you came to the hospital, you knew exactly who you were coming to see and you welcomed her with open arms. You call her "my Maggie" and ask to hold her constantly.  You are so sweet with her and you tell her that you love her many times a day.  You gently stroke her feet, hands and hair and say "look at her tiny little hands!" and "look at her tiny little toes!" and "look at her tiny little tongue!".  You adore her and I can already tell that she loves you back.  

You are getting more and more independent and sometimes it's hard for me to see you needing me less. Having Magnolia reminds me of the sweet times we shared when you were a baby.  You are a baby no more and you are growing into a smart, kind and wonderful little boy. Know that no matter how big and independent you get, I'll always be your Mama and will love you more than you can imagine.  

I Love you, sweet boy!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

to remember: Magnolia - 2 weeks

Dear Magnolia,

There are so many things I want to remember about newborn you.

I want to remember the first moment I met you and how I mostly just couldn't believe you had a full head of dark hair.  You were all white and "cheesy", calm and alert, just like your brother.  

I want to remember how I cried with relief after a long and hard pregnancy and how I realized looking at you that you were totally worth every minute of sickness, anxiety, aches and pains.  I want to remember how delicate, perfect and beautiful you were (and still are). I want to remember how you stole everyone's hearts when they met you and how you were happy to let anyone hold and cuddle you. 

I want to remember how a nurse came into our room late one night and saw that your hair wasn't properly washed by the previous nurse. I want to remember how she exclaimed that this was "absolutely unacceptable" and how she gently washed, combed and "styled" your hair saying over and over again how beautiful you were. 

After you came into the world I slowly started to realize that my right leg was numb and the muscles weren't working.  As the hours and days passed, more and more nurses, doctors and specialists would come in to my hospital room with worried looks and soon I was told I probably wouldn't walk on my own for months.  I want to remember how I would try to hold back my tears as I asked your Papa to lay you right in front of me so I could focus on the precious gift you were and try not to get overwhelmed by the news I was receiving.  I want to remember how you made this time joyful and hopeful in the midst of a vast unknown. 

I want to remember how exceptionally easy and laid back you were right from the beginning.  You barely ever cried or fussed.  You would sweetly smack your lips when you were hungry,  nurse like a pro, then go right back to sleep.  I want to remember how you were happy just sitting with your almost couch-ridden Mama and didn't need me to walk or pace with you. It's almost as if you knew (or God knew) that I needed a laid back baby.

I want to remember your newborn curl, your cute little pouty lip, your mop of soft dark hair, your adorable little grunts and coos, your sleep smiles.   

I want to remember how happy you make your big brother.  How you don't mind his smothering hugs and kisses and are content (no, happy!) to be held and coddled by him.  I want to remember how he adoringly calls you "my Maggie" and tells you numerous times a day how much he loves you. 

My dear Magnolia, this time has been sweet.  My injury has forced me to slow down and savor every moment with you.  They say time flies and I found that out for myself with your brother Levi. I'm so thankful that despite the hardships of this time, I've been given the opportunity for lots of slow time with you. 

I love you.  I love getting to know you. You'll always be my girl.