Every year on my children’s birthdays I write them a letter. This is Huck’s fourth birthday letter.
My dearest Huckleberry,
WE DID IT! We made it to four! I always joked that if I made it through your third year I was going to buy myself a present, because whoa boy were you ever three! There were a few nights where I cried that I was failing you as a mother, but we made it, you and me.
I want you to know, as you grow older and we tell stories of your third year, that they always were, are, and will be told with love. You are such a good boy. You are sweet and thoughtful and kind. Just yesterday it was raining and you insisted you would get your Lightning McQueen umbrella to keep me from getting wet. Piper wanted your beloved Grer Bear, and you tolerated her giving him a snuggle or two before wanting him back – which I assured you was okay, Grer Bear is very special to you, and you don’t have to share him. Piper was upset, she wanted Grer Bear! I told you how she wanted him because you love him and you graciously offered any of your other bears to her. When she didn’t take to them the way she did to Grer Bear, you rightfully decided it’s because they weren’t as floppy and snuggly as Grer Bear, so you ordered me that the next time we shop the first thing we are to look for is a bear just like Grer Bear for Piper. She needs her own.
You and Max are still close, you fight more than before as you get older and have your own ideas, but you also create more intricate games between the two of you. You always run to the door to wave goodbye as Max goes to school and you always say “I love you!”
You are in love with Piper, however you get in trouble a lot because you are rough with her. You just want to play with her and love her and smother her with cuddles. The two of you are figuring it out and when she looks at you she has hearts in her eyes. She adores you! Sometimes you and Max play around in front of her and she thinks you two are the funniest people in the world!
The three of you laughing together is, without a doubt, the best sound in the universe.
I hope you never feel the trap of the middle child, that you are overlooked, you are not.
You play baseball with brother now and you like it, you rarely make it through a whole game, usually playing an inning or two and then heading off to the sandbox to play. You say you like it and we will keep you in it unless you change your mind. Perhaps you’ll fall in love with something else, and I promise you we will be all in for whatever that may be.
You are quick to anger and quick to forgive. When you’re mad you say to whoever has offended you “YOU BUTT!” and we try not to laugh because you are so mad but it’s so adorably wrong, we can’t help but smile, on the inside anyway. You are the best hugger and snuggler ever. Cuddling with you is HEAVEN. You used to kick us out of your room before you fell asleep saying you needed ‘alone time’ but recently you’ve needed someone with you at all times. “I need an adult” you say. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without your grandmother this year, she stays with you while I negotiate putting your baby sister to bed and your big brother. But I want you to know this KILLS me. It kills me that she reads to you and holds you as you fall asleep, all while I am grateful to her for making you feel so loved and cared for. Sometimes I talk you into letting me read to you and stay with you until you fall asleep, knowing I will have to sneak out once you are asleep. You say to me “will you stay with me the whole, whole, whole, night?” and my heart breaks that the answer can’t be yes. And that by the time it can be yes, you won’t want me to anymore. This is a great sadness in my life. I love being with you, I want to snuggle next to you the whole, whole, whole night.
Your love of McQueen is still going strong! Orange is still your favorite color and you always ask for “nibbles” before bed, cereal to eat while we read to you. You love to dance and sing and be silly. You are free with your “I love you’s” and you are always up for a hug. When we drive you ask me to reach back and hold your foot- you’ve ALWAYS taken off your shoes- and I squeeze it three times for I Love You. Sometimes you’ll insist that I do it. If you are in the car seat and need a hug but I am driving we do a magic hug and we both hug the air.
You have a smile and a spirit that is contagious. You are fearless socially, you get right in! One night we were all talking about you and we said “Huck always brings the party” right then you walked in and said joyously “I’M HERE!” we all cracked up because…yes, yes you are! And you do bring the party!
What would we do without you our spirited, passionate, silly, loving boy? Life would surely be boring without you. I am so grateful we have you, even if you did flip over a kitchen stool because I wouldn’t give you cookies for breakfast.
You may be little but darn it, you are strong!
I love you so much, my Huckleberry. I am so blessed to be your mother. You are a light in this world and you bring joy to everyone you meet.