Two years ago, we brought you home from the hospital. Our fourth boy. Our final boy. When I think about you, my heart swells and a smile just jumps onto my face. You are kind, and you are the most impatient child ever. You love to cuddle, and snuggle, and hug. You knock on the door incessantly while I’m in the bathroom with the constant shouts of “Mama! Where are you?” This has only gotten worse since your dad left. You think that you’re just as big as your brothers, and you demand that they acknowledge you. Usually this is done by tackling them to the ground and sitting on them. They always let you do it because: 1. They know I’d have their butt if they didn’t, and 2. because they adore you. Oh, my Brodykins, this has your daddy calling you “Bullykins.”
You are the only baby who got to have daddy home for your birthday party this year. When your dad surprised you by coming home, I was so worried that you would reject him. So many toddlers take one look at a newly-returned daddy and run back to the only person their certain of: mommy. But the instant you saw your daddy there on his knees, you called out his name, walked right through your brothers, into daddy’s arms, and you laid your head on his shoulder like he had never left. You didn’t move from that spot except to lift your head and check him out to make sure he was who you thought he was. So accepting. It brought tears to my eyes. Today, daddy got on Skype for the first time since he went back from his R&R and you not only demanded equal time, but more. You carried on a conversation with your dad like he was right there next to you.
There’s a few things I’d like you to know about this life now that you’ve turned two.
1. Keep your aversion to processed food. Your love of fresh fruit and veggies will take you far.
2. Just because Chase puts it down, does not mean that it’s yours.
3. Keep your Harvard bear close, and remember that the future is whatever you’re willing to work for.
4. You’ve got three older brothers to have your back. Those three will do anything for you, but you’re going to have to stop jumping on their bellies after they eat.
5. If I leave the room, I promise, I’m coming back. There’s no need to follow me into the bathroom.
6. One day you will be big enough to go outside by yourself and ride your bike with the bigs. Today is not that day.
7. While you find your nap time cumbersome, I find it delicious. Please partake.
8. The couch is not a trampoline.
9. You have the most amazing dimple. It will take you far with the girls, but don’t abuse it.
10. One day we’ll be a complete family and dad won’t always have to leave. I don’t know when this day is, but it will come.
11. You may not keep the red hair, but you’ll probably keep that temper. Control it for the greater good of the World until you’re old enough to put it to use. With great power comes great responsibility. 😉
12. If you don’t stop trying to climb into the dishwasher, one day you’ll suceed. This will not make you as happy as you think it will.
13. I love you. Now. Always. No matter what. There will be no goal in this world you can’t achieve. There is nothing out of your reach. I will back you. We will back you. You have all the love and support of this family, and while it may be overwhelming at times, it’s there. I know that your brothers will always shelter you to a degree. They already do. This might frustrate you as you get older, but it’s always out of love… and maybe out of fear of your mom’s reaction. Sorry, but you’re my baby, daddy’s baby, and your brothers’ baby.
14. I understand that it’s your natural inclination as a man-in-training to watch tv with your hand down your diaper, but perhaps we could curb this? Maybe just a wee bit?
15. You’re you. Never doubt that in a family of 5 men, you are not just another boy. You are Broderick, Brody, the ‘kins, and you have your own identity. An identity that I love, and would never trade for anything.
16. Oh, lastly… when you pound your head into the floor in a fit of temper and frustration, really, it’s going to hurt, just like it did last time. And my lack of reaction is not in lack of concern for your well-being, but my extreme concern that you not use this to get attention. For God’s sake, keep your brain cells.
So happy 2nd Birthday, Brodykins. The terrible 2’s are upon us, but we’ll make it through. You give me the smiles every morning that fuel my day, and you give your daddy and I so many things to laugh about. You are a precious gift that I am constantly thankful for.
Thank you for the last two years, and for choosing me to be your mommy.
Happy birthday, baby!
Asleep with Harvard, your constant companion (and future school choice?), and daddy’s pillow to stop your night terrors.