From the moment I held your sister in my arms I knew I wanted to have another baby. I knew that she was such a gift, such a marvelous addition to this world that I started planning for you soon after she took her first breath. I knew that without you, Guinevere would never have an aunt or uncle for her children, would never be a sister and we would only know a baby intimately in our lives one time. We wanted to complete our vision: Mommy, Daddy, baby, baby. We also wanted to hedge our bets in the grandchild department. We knew we needed you.
What we didn’t know was how you would fill that space we reserved for you. We assumed you would fuse your little life into ours, accepting what already was and that you would fit into the shape we had provided. You, my love are a lesson in nature versus nurture. You quickly taught us that just because I thought something should be a certain way, it was not always the best way. You have taught me to relax a little about my expectations, to relax about the way I think things are supposed to be. And that lesson has extended into other areas of my life, teaching me to accept what comes instead of always plan what comes. You have taught me that is ok.

Each morning you make your way into our room. I hear your little feet padding down the hallway, the quiet way you turn my door knob, then the silent shuffle as you make your way from the door to my side of the bed. I lay there knowing it is before 6:00 in the morning, simultaneously cursing the early hour that you have risen every day of your life – except when in hotels- while also rejoicing that my little sweet boy’s first instinct each morning is to crawl alongside his mama in bed, connecting, cuddling, kissing, and quietly laughing while Daddy tries to catch a few more winks. I open my eyes, and each time you startle me with your nearness, I can smell your sweet morning breath and you smile as I open my eyes. “Morning, Mama!” you whisper. I can never remain irritated at this moment, at you for this. You are love and light, the sunshine, my sunshine each morning as I rise with you and you brighten my morning. I lift the covers and you slide in.

This year brought clarified speech from our boy, tremendous vocabulary development and a lot of learning on how to include yourself in our social structure. You learned how to modulate your voice, and you are quieter these days, hearing less and less from our neighbor about how he can hear our boy so early in the morning. Naps seem to be on the way out as you only take them on days where it’s just you and Daddy at home. You grew to love the outdoors this year. The patio was the perfect space to build obstacle courses, build with sand, ride your scooter and swim on. You became confident in the water, splashing and playing for hours in the hot tub. You became a friend to your sister, playing pet shop, school, lego, playmobil, lincoln logs, tinker toys, Pokemon, star wars, house and any other thing the two of you decided to collaborate on. You became an artist, drawing people, telling stories and beginning to write.

Mostly, though, you became more YOU if that makes sense. The older you become I am seeing the boy you are turning into, and that boy has the wonderful makings of a great man. I thrill at the prospect of watching you, wonderful you, as you grow and become even more Jude- like. That funny boy who tells jokes upon jokes, who is insistent on doing what he wants, the little boy who is sensitive and caring about the feelings of those who are around him. I love that little boy who tells me I am beautiful, and ‘comfortable’ (his way of saying he likes my softness and curviness).

Baby, you are beautiful and comfortable too. I still can’t believe how big you are getting, can’t fathom that in one more year you will be taking your lunch box to kindergarten. So for this next year, I’m going to baby you and love you, hold you and snuggle you as we spend this last year of toddlerhood together. This last year before you go off into the world, no longer my baby, but my boy. My boy who I am so proud to watch as he walks into this world. Know that I love you and always will, my sweet.

See, while we had a plan for who you would be, and we wanted you to fill this specific son/brother/second child role, we found that your ideas are much better suited to our family than we ever expected. Thank you for making our family what it is with you, our Jude, in it. We are so glad that you are.
Happy fourth birthday, my Boyo!
With Love,

  • BROWSE / IN Emerson Jude Tamara
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Jude is Four


Gigi Said

  • Topless Tapas 2012-11-03 18:44:52-

    Tami was leaving to go out with her friend and the kids begged to go with her. I said, "you don't want to go with mom, she is going to the Tapas bar and we are going to stay here and play games."

    Gigi stiffened, "That's weird", she said as she blushed. I processed fast and realized the problem. "TAPAS bar. It means 'small plate', not TOPLESS bar!"

Jude Said

  • Nicknames 2013-01-04 21:30:33-

    The checker at the store asked our always conversational little boy what his name was. He replied "Jude" then added "but sometimes they call me pumpkin brown". LOL.

    And they are right. We call him that after the folksong that we sing sometimes.

A long time ago…