To my baby boy number three, thank you. When you bounced into this world, all 10 pounds 5 ounces of you, I was smitten from the very beginning. But I could never have imagined on that May afternoon the kind of child you would become. And lucky for me, and everyone else who you have ever encountered, you are the sweetest, most loving child that I have ever met. You look at the world through a much different lens, one that I wish that I could see. I wish that I could spend a day in your world to understand that depth of the kindness that you have in your heart. You are truly a joy.
A lot of the time you are just along for the ride. With two older brothers and a younger sister, you are smack dab in the middle of the family, but you take that in stride. You rarely give me trouble about keeping an eye on your younger sister or being the third wheel with your older brothers. You have basically raised yourself because I tend to be consumed with some of the other people in the house. With 13- and 11-year-old brothers and a five-year-old sister, eight-year-old you is often grateful just to be heard at the dinner table. For that, I am sorry. You deserve more attention than I sometimes give, and I promise to work on that.
Your wardrobe consists of almost all hand-me-downs, but you have never said a word about it. You just get excited when you get to pick out something new and you never take anything for granted. You are an angel when it comes to following directions and doing what you are supposed to be doing. I never have to ask you twice to get out of bed or to brush your teeth. Those things are always met with a “Yes, ma’am,” and a smile. No one else in the family practices spelling words on their own or does their homework as soon as they get home from school. You are a mother’s dream come true.
Maybe you were sent to me to be our peacemaker. When you came along as my third boy, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would life really be as loud and crazy as people had warned me it would? With you, not at all. You leave the drama for the other two and often just go off on your own. They pick on you sometimes, but you can hold your own. And though you are rather meek, you will defend yourself and give them a run for their money. I don’t even mind the occasional attack, because often, they deserve it.
You sister came along when you were three, so you didn’t have much time as the baby. But your birth was dramatic, and I felt so blessed that you were alive and well, that our bond has been special since the beginning. I often treat you like my baby and I make no excuses or apologies about it. You are the baby of my boys, and no one can change that.
The freckles on your nose and the dimple in your cheek melt my heart when you smile. Honest to God, you are always smiling. I think that I would sometimes find that hard to do, especially when your older brothers are always picking the movie to watch or playing the PlayStation first. You will wait your turn and find something else to do. I truly don’t know what I have done to deserve you.
I tell all four of you that you are my favorites, because you are, and you are my favorite for so many reasons. Mostly because you are the sweetest kid that I have ever met. I hope you stay that way forever. You unabashedly say “I love you” to everyone in our family, no matter who may be listening. There is no shame in your emotions, and I think that is the greatest thing ever.
You are unbelievably giving, both of your time and your talents. I have so many pictures adorning the fridge that you have drawn at school and at home. You take such pride in your work and always try your hardest. My favorite gifts are things that my children make, and I have things tucked away from you that I will cherish forever.
My sweet boy, I cannot thank you enough for the special person you are to our family. I can always count on you to be my helper at the grocery store or to stack all the shoes on the steps. Your work ethic will pay off someday. I hope that you never feel like you are lost in the shuffle. Even when you don’t realize it, I see you. I see you for the gift that you are to our entire family.
Stay the course, my baby boy. Never stop being you. And I hope that you will always know that even though you may be low on our proverbial totem pole, you rank right at the top in my heart.
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