I have great intentions, but without deadlines most of those don’t come to fruition. One of the main reasons I created a blog was to capture this time when my sons are young. So I’m excited to join a group of friends, moms, and fellow photographers as we share about the boys in our lives on the third Friday of each month. We will be writing a letter to our sons each month. You can follow our blog circle to Chantell Sim next, and continue all the way back here. ________________________________________________________________________________________________
Dear Aidan, Sean, and Nolan,
I like the idea of starting this series with one letter to all three of you. I so want to carve out time for each of you separately, and in future letters, plan to focus on one of you each month. Still, many of my favorite moments are when we are all together and you three are “my boys.”
We’ve reached a sweet spot that for years I joked about---it seemed SO far away---that golden age when all of my children would be able to buckle their own car seat (or seat belt in Aidan’s case). I know every stage is fleeting, and, as each one arrives, I always have the same reaction: this is my favorite stage ever and I hope it never ends.
I remember writing your Aunties Angie and Mary Alice during Aidan’s first year that I feared I’d reach my peak in life too soon and would always be wanting to relive that year. I really did relish your baby and toddler years.
At the same time, I gotta admit, this stage is pretty sweet.
For this one year of your childhood, all three of you are at the same school. I love that each of you recognize that fact and are making the most of it. How much easier it is to let my baby ride the school bus, knowing his big brothers are by his side. And how fun to listen, when he arrives home an hour earlier than you two, to his stories of having spotted you in the hallways or on the playground.
There are so many things I love about this specific season of our life together---the way all three of you love playing with LEGOs, the way you crack each other up, the way Aidan will be sure to grab a granola bar for Sean when he takes one for himself, or the way you often return from a party and share your new bounty of sugar with each other. I love the way the three of you negotiate music (Nolie says, “ENOUGH MICHAEL FRANTI” and Aidan says, “Never enough!”). The way you wake up together on the weekends and feed Duke and play quietly in hopes that you’ll get to watch more cartoons if you let your dad and me sleep longer (you’re smart boys!). The way you encourage each other---whether it be Nolan’s first sentence in writing last week (you wrote: I see Nolan), or Sean finishing a long book, or Aidan’s 50th comic strip drawing---each of you know you have a built-in audience who will praise and love your work.
It’s not all rainbows and unicorns. There are accusations (“who ate the last lime popsicle?”) and threats (“never touch my Gandolf LEGO again”), epic Wii battles, and the never-ending debate over who really is Duke’s favorite (I hate to break it to you boys, but his fav is the one girl in the family). Every family has their struggles, and we have plenty, but I’m grateful that sibling fighting really isn’t one of ours. You are each so different and so compatible at the same time.
One of the best parts of this stage is that we can do more. We did a lot in the past, but every thing is so much easier now. In the past few weeks you’ve hiked at Arches National Park, river rafted on the Colorado, taken Duke with us through Granstaff Canyon. Nothing new---you’ve been on the river before, been to those sights before, but while I still see danger around every corner, I’m not quite as worried now. And Nolie hiked all the way to Morning Glory bridge AND back on his own two feet. It had to be the first time your dad has finished that hike without a child on his back!
I’m in no hurry to move to the next stage, whatever that might be. Many mornings I tease you that this is my Christmas (a concept that has stayed with me from this interview with Karey Macin). I can’t imagine a time when I go to sleep without all three of you under my roof, though I know that time will come. Right now, it is Christmas every day, and I plan to enjoy as much of it as possible.
So far I’ve been shocked to find each season better than the last. Whatever lies ahead, I hope you always carry this sweet season with you---this time when you knew your brothers had your back. Even when you’re grown men, I know I’ll see the baby, the toddler, and the boy I knew still within you. My matroshki. I hope you see that in each other, that you’ll always be a link back to this time for each other, still watching each other’s backs, still laughing at each other’s corny jokes, still giving “awkward sibling hugs” (thank you, Gravity Falls).
more than all the stars,