Dear Grant Neil V,

I had intentions of making this a sentimental slop fest. You are my first-born, the day you entered your new life in the outside world was the same day I enter my new life of motherhood. You were the one who made me a mother, in all its rosy glow. However, as I listened to you throw your umpteenth screaming fit tonight you have reminded me that motherhood is more than rosy glow. It’s also temper tantrums and nervous breakdowns, half of them mine.

I remember when you were born and the midwife laid you on my chest, I couldn’t believe you were finally here! I had deluded myself into thinking you would be early, like I was. You, however, gave me first lesson in the patience of motherhood before you were ever born, showing up 12 days past my due date. I expected everything to come so naturally with you, but the first time I held you I remember thinking how do I do this? this feels so weird? am I holding him right? Great first time mother emotions! It’s a wonder to me some days that you survived your first year. We really didn’t know what we were doing with you. Every time you cried someone would hand you to me and tell me you were hungry, it didn’t matter if you’d just ate 30 mins ago. I didn’t know any better and I nursed you around the clock, it’s a wonder you weren’t 100 lbs.

You were the happiest most active little baby and toddler we’d ever seen, until your sister and brother were born. You rolled over at 2 months to the day and proceed to do it again and again and again every day after. You crawled at 5 1/2 months, walked at 10 months and generally ran us into the ground every day. You were so darn happy about it though we certainly didn’t fault you for it. Most nights I just fell asleep with you at 8:30. 

I try to keep the other children out of these letters and focus on the one I’m writing too. But with you it’s harder, so much of who you are in wrapped up in your big brotherness. When you were about 8-9 months I remember rocking you to sleep at night praying to God to let me have another baby. I wanted so badly to give you a brother or a sister, for you to have a play mate and friend, someone to stick by you your whole life. Most days I think you’re happy about those prayers. You are an amazing big brother. Sure you push, bite and generally bully your sister at times. But you also spontaneously give her hugs and tell her she’s beautiful and you love her. But what amazes me is how you look out for her, always making sure she’s safe. Now with Jacob we’ve seen another side of you blossom. You’re older and more aware this time, and you’ve been so careful and sweet to your brother. I remember when we came home and told you your going to have a brother. You were so excited we were having a ‘boy like you’ and you’ve so patiently waited for him to get ‘bigger and bigger to play with you.’ 

It’s hard to sum up four years in one letter. There is so much more about your birth and your life I want to say, but there will be many more birthdays to tell your story.

Tonight all I need you to know is even when you’re screaming your head off, and getting out of your bed over and over again, I still love you. We’ve grown together, you and I. Before you were born I didn’t know I was capable of this kind of love, my heart has grown 100 times over to fit it all. 

I love you bunches.