In a matter of months (or weeks, really), you are going to become a big brother for the second time. I know this isn’t news to you, but I think it will still be a big change for you when it happens. I’m sure you feel this deep down. Some days it seems like you’re absolutely ready to add another baby to our family, and some days it seems like it’s especially hard for you to think about. You were not quite two and a half when your sister came along, so I’m not sure you remember how it all felt, but I know you’re aware that it means something new for everyone.
Already, you’ve gone from having your own room to sharing with your sister. You weathered this transition well, and I think for the most part you both like it. Still, it’s not just your space now, and it’s the first of many big adjustments we’ve all made together in the house as my belly has grown.
You’ll be almost five and a half this time around. You’re becoming more independent all of the time, and you’re so able. It will be hard not to ask you for too much after baby is here, because I know you’re capable. I never want you to feel like I’m taking advantage of being your mom. And I always want you to feel like you can tell me what you need, too. We try to do a good job of helping each other around here, and we’ll all need to keep trying. It’s a big ask, but an important one.
Today was a good day for you, I think. You got a new bike and a hole in one playing mini golf! You played outside with your sister, went on a bike ride with your dad, and had time with all of us together as a family. It was a good Saturday for everyone, but I hope it was especially good for you.
I can’t get over how big you look in pictures now. There are days when you could pull off being at least eight, yet sometimes the five year old in you comes flying out so fast and I’ve forgotten. I’m sorry for the times that I don’t handle those moments well. I want you to feel safe to be where you are, whatever that looks like, at every age and stage.
I think we have a good thing going, you and I. We are both careful of each other in the best ways, and we both want to experience life to the full. When you say good morning or good night to me, or when you thank me for something that I do every day that I just take for granted as a part of my role, I am reminded of how thoughtful and gentle a spirit God has placed in you. You greet me with kindness. You address my belly with a quiet, welcoming joy. You look after your sister and think about things for her that no one else would ever know to do. You are uniquely you and one of a kind.
Henry, I don’t want you to ever feel like you have to grow up too fast, or like our expectations for you are impossible to reach. Sometimes we get carried away with how bright you are or how old you seem in moments, and we slip up from time to time by asking too much of you at such a young age. It’s ok for you to be a kid, and I want you to be. I want you to get dirty, to put holes in the knees of your pants and to play hard. I want you to feel the freedom to create, to ask questions, to share honestly with us about what you’re thinking and feeling. I want you to know that we are always, always on your team.
This baby I’m growing? He or she is so incredibly fortunate to have you as an example and a sibling. I already know that your heart for our little one is so, so big. I know, too, that you will remember to be gentle, that you’ll help me when I really need it, and that Eloise is going to look up to you as you care for our baby, just as she looks up to you for so many other things now.
Keep being you, ok? You’re an amazing kid. Sometimes I look at you and I have to blink hard as I remind myself that I actually get to be your mom. It’s a pretty great gig, and I wouldn’t trade it for a thing.
You’re always going to be our baby, H.D. You’re our big kid, too, but you were our baby first. The space my heart holds for you grows bigger all of the time.
I’m proud of you and I love you. And I can’t wait to introduce you to the next little person who will look up to you in awe and wonder, too.