His Heart Carried Our Hearts

His Heart Became Our Hearts

At 2:37 in the morning on Christmas Day, the youngest busted into my bedroom and scared me awake.

“What are you doing?”
“I woke up!”
“What time is it?”
“It’s 2:37!”
“But what are you doing?”
“I need to use the bathroom and you told us we have to use your bathroom instead of the hallway bathroom so we don’t look in the living room!”
“Oh. Okay. Go on.”

I put my head back down on my pillow. I had only been asleep for about an hour. I stayed up late to pull off the normal Christmas magic, wanting to make sure not-so-little boys were really asleep before taking to the task at hand. I rolled into bed sometime after one o’clock and was still awake after 1:30.

Let’s face it: I get excited on Christmas Eve, too. I get excited for their excitement. It’s one of my greatest joys.

I waited in the dark and drifted slightly before LittleBrother came back to my side of the bed.

“Can I trust you to go back to your room?”
“Yes. I love you.”

He bent down and kissed my forehead.

And then that child whispered, “Santa opened the door to the basement,” wonder and awe thick on his voice.

My eyes snapped open. His eyes shone in the dark.

“Well, don’t you peek. Now go get your sleep so we can wake up and have Christmas!”

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I heard his feet run down the hall, followed by the shutting of his door. In the dark, my heart grew eighty sizes.

He was all in on Santa all season long. All. In. He spoke of him with reverent wonder, wide eyes, and a joy I wish I could bottle for darker days yet to come. Honestly, the pure belief that kid has in Santa helped smooth the edges of a really rough season.

As adults, we don’t believe in much the way our youngest son believes in Santa—with all of his being. We worry. We doubt. We try to reason it all away or into being. We talk ourselves in circles. And yes, as we age we require those critical thinking skills that allow us to make informed decisions about the world around us.

But there’s something to be said for magic.

Our Christmas Day was busy and beautiful. We spent the day with family and ate entirely too much food. Our hearts were heavy for various reasons, but we did the best we could to enjoy the day.

We cleaned up some messes after we got home and set up some Christmas presents. After LittleBrother opened one box, he noticed it had some dings. This particular present was delivered by Santa.

“I bet it got beat up on the ride here,” he told his daddy.

His belief was our joy this year. It was a hard year, for so many reasons. I am living through and with loss. My husband and I are working hard to care for his grandparents. The world is literally and figuratively on fire.

But one little boy—our little boy—believes with all of his heart. His joy became our joy; his heart carried our hearts.

His Heart Carried Our Hearts

 

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Double-Digits

Dear LittleBrother,

Well.

You’re 10.

I’m not okay with that. I mean, I’m okay with that in that I’m so glad you are part of our world and still here with us. I am not okay with the fact that you’re now a double-digit age. Like, what?

Being the mom of a double digit-er is weird. First off, your feet are the same size as mine. You’re taller than my armpit. You’re funnier than me. Weren’t you just born like five seconds ago?

Double-Digits

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Right now you dig LEGO. As you continue to build your way through LEGO City and collect it across your dresser, I marvel at your patience. You don’t have patience for humans sometimes, but you sure do for building with tiny blocks. I like watching you get excited about creating and I lovelovelove the pride you show in your work.

I’m proud of you for so many things. Running for Student Council (and getting elected!). Earning Student of the Month. Straight A’s. Doing chores. Helping me cook. You give your all no matter what you’re doing, and I think that’s awesome.

Oh, and PS: I love your glasses. I think they make you look really awesome.

Even though I’m feeling sad about the fact that you’re ten, I’m excited to see what’s in store for you this year. You’re growing—so freaking fast. Your personality is growing, too. Your library, too! I wonder what you’ll read this year. I bet you’ll love whatever it is… and I hope you’ll sit and tell me about each book.

I won’t bore you with all the “you’ll always be my baby” hullabaloo. (But you will.) Instead, I’ll just say that I’m so grateful to be your mom. Thank you for still smiling for pictures, for still giving out hugs freely. Maybe you won’t always, so I’ll enjoy them immensely right now.

Thanks for being you.

Love,
Mommy

You’re 12

You’re 12

Dear BB,

You’re 12.

You’re 12

I’ve spent 12 years mothering you. I know when you’re happy, and when you’re faking a smile. I know when you’re sad, and when you’re trying to get us to feel sorry for you. Even though you have a wide array of facial expressions, I know what they all mean.

I’ve watched you excel. I’ve helped you when you struggled. I taught you things, like how to swim and ride a bike.

I have read you so many, many books. I have also written so many, many words about you.

You have taught me how to laugh at silly videos, life, and myself. You showed me parts of myself I didn’t know I didn’t know. You loved me even when I didn’t feel like the mom I wanted to be; you loved me all the times.

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You went to your first school dance tonight, on your birthday. You had fun. I love watching you experience the little things of life. I’m also not sorry we “embarrassed” you by listening to our “embarrassing” music as we pulled up to the school. I wish the same moments for you as a parent, should you choose to be one, as you roll up to the school with your newly minted 12-year-old. It actually makes your tween years make sense.

You’ll understand us someday.

For now, know this: You are loved. You are loved even when you don’t like us. Even when we’re “embarrassing.” Even when you feel sad. Or angry. Or lonely. Even when you’d rather be with anyone but us but we’re forcing you to be with us because family matters. So very much. You are loved when you get straight A’s and you are loved when you can’t figure out the answers.

Most importantly, you are loved when you don’t feel like you’re loved because you’re always, always, always loved.

Happy Birthday: You’re 12

Thank you for being you. Here’s to another year!

Love,
Mom