I love you.
Each of you.
Differently and yet all the same.
I learned what love is because of you. First with you, my eldest. You opened my heart up in ways I did not know were possible. I could never have imagined being happy to be woken up in the middle of the night be a crying baby, but there was something truly amazing about being able to fix things simply by being there, oh and feeding you. It was you that gave me the confidence to be a mom, to trust that we knew what we were doing together. It was you that smiled at me like I was the sun which in turn filled me with the joy the size of a harvest moon, all big and bright and surprising.
I learned to love you each separately when you, our middle son arrived, actually even before that when I was put on bedrest and we had to figure out how to best care of each of our two boys. It wasn’t day 1 but it was pretty quickly that we learned how different two boys can be. Middle Man, I learned how to love not just my child but how to love each of my children from you. You, who were so very much your own, taught me to love you. Not my son, but you.
Ahh and then Little One came along. I had no idea when I first started writing about my youngest as Little One how very wrong that name would be. You may be our youngest but there is nothing little about you. You live big. You love big. You were the final piece of the puzzle we didn’t even know we were missing.
I love each of you. First, because you are my sons and I am your mother. There is something amazingly safe about loving each of you because I am your mommy. At least for now. Someday you will each walk away and not come back. You will visit. You will call, or more likely text. You better. But you will move away, move on, and while that is sad, there will still be a part of you that will call me home. And there is a part of my heart that you will take with you wherever you go.
But I also love each of you because of who you are - the pieces of you that make you different from your brothers, the threads that are your own color added to our family tapestry.
That is the lesson. You love your children first because they are your children but over time, you learn to love them for the people they are. Unique and all their own. And part of loving each of you, is protecting your right to be your own person, nurturing those parts of you that are yours alone, and standing with you in those that run through our family’s DNA.
There it is my sons. Lesson number 2.
I love you.
All of you.
And each of you.