Dear Sam and Ben,
This year has been filled with so much laughter and so much sweetness. I am the luckiest mom. So beyond blessed to call you both my boys. I’m head over heals in love with you both. I kiss your cute little heads way too much. You make Dad and I laugh all day with your crazy antics, your constant attempts at joke telling, your never ending prank pulling. You both have the best personalities, each so different and so complimentary to this family…
To Sam- my first boy, built with a tender heart, a wild imagination, and a compassion for people.
You love to talk! We have the best conversations. You are especially talkative in the car, on the way home from school. You mostly like school and have worked so hard to get that straight-A honor roll this quarter! Dinosaurs and animals still take up a huge chunk of you interests, but this year you’ve really started to love superheros too. You and dad have fun playing your Marvel superhero game on the Wii together. You are a leader. We are learning how to balance this in your relationships and you get so excited when the kids at recess play any game that you made up. You started picking up a guitar this year and love to practice strumming and finger picking. I think you’ll be playing pretty well in the next year or two. You also are a master of the legos! You amaze me with how well you can complete a new set, reading the directions and assembling yourself from start to finish. You love to tell jokes and get pretty excited when you hear a new one you can add to your collection. But my favorite hobby of yours is by far your sketching. This has grown in huge ways this last year. You get so excited when you get a new sketch book and it doesn’t take long at all before you fill it up with pictures of the fiercest creatures you can imagine. My favorite is definitely the picture of the small boy feeding the T-rex a hotdog. 🙂 Your imagination is the best!
Yes you are tender and I’ve seen you mature in the most amazing ways this year, but more than this, I simply love your heart. You aren’t perfect. You have learned what it means to deal with new friendships this year and what it means to work within a group without always being the leader. You have learned how to work with the surge of emotions that any young kiddo has, especially anger and frustration. And you have learned that while perfection isn’t possible, Jesus is able to help you be more like Him as you seek Him first in your life. I have so loved our time at the end of each day praying together and reading our Bible. I have loved seeing the lightbulb go off as you’ve asked the hard questions about who God is and what it means to follow Him. And for me, this has been the year I have really begun to see you live for Jesus out of your own love for Him. It has been the most satisfying feeling as a parent. I know that I will fail you many times over sweet boy, but God never will. So I can rest confidently knowing that He has great plans for you and that as long as He is steering your ship, you will do amazing things in this great big world!
To Ben- my littlest guy, my firecracker, my comedian.
You are so goofy, I laugh thinking about those words and you even as i’m typing this. You have made it your goal at the dinner table to make the entire family laugh. Your brother has a hard time resisting your antics and usually gets in trouble for laughing at you when he shouldn’t. You adore Spiderman. I have yet to show you an episode of Spiderman on tv, but somehow, you watched your brother and dad play that marvel game together and Spiderman became your thing. So you walk around the house, almost all the time, in a superhero costume. Really. Looking back at all of the candids I’ve taken of you throughout the year, a pretty large chunk of them have you wearing a crazy Spiderman, Ironman, or Captain America costume. My favorite of all of your interests is by far your drumming. Most parents would probably go crazy at the amount of drumming you do – drumming with your forks and spoons at the table, drumming with pencils, sticks from outside, drumming with your fingers in the air…. drumming all day all the time. But I am most enthused by this (well, most of the time..). Because you are the only two year old I have ever met who can hold down a serious 4/4 rock groove on a set- highhat on beat and kick pedal on the 2 and 4 with the tom going in between. It is amazing to watch your level of rhythmic skill. It is in you to your core! When you are older and are a drumming master, I will have many videos to prove to the world that at two, you were already somewhat of a drumming prodigy. Thanks for practicing with me while I play at the piano and keeping me so steady on the beat!
Now comes the part where I remind you that you also aren’t perfect. We call you “the sour patch kid” for a reason. So cuddly and sweet at times and so fiery at others. You have kept me on my toes more than ever before. You are learning what it means to be obedient and control those surges of emotions that kick in oh so strongly as you hit that third year. It’s also the first year that you’ve really started understanding those Bible stories for yourself and I’m so thrilled to see you grow in this way. You cried the first time you saw the toddler version of the Easter story and you excitedly talk about how much you love Jesus. Your heart is tender in there too! Your favorite show is “Bible Man” and you run around the house trying to be Miles Peterson, the Bible superhero. I know that as I continue to give you to God in prayer and disciple you to be more like Jesus, you will grow into the amazing man He is making you into. I want to be faithful as your mom. Some days, I fail. Parenting a precious toddler can be the hardest job on the planet. But it is also the best job and I want to be faithful in how I teach you and model God’s love back to you. Thank you for your sweet kisses and your precious cuddles. Because on the hardest of days, they have been the greatest rewards!
Sweet boys, one of the best parts of the year has been watching you grow as friends. You are best buddies, without a doubt. Sam- you have been an amazing “protector” of your little brother and have worked hard to keep him from doing crazy things as Ben is so prone to do! Ben- keep sharing with your big brother and being ready to play with him, especially when he needs a friend most after a hard day! Never forget that the two of you have each other as your greatest friend and confident. No matter what friends come and go, brothers stick around through the best and the worst!
Mom and Dad couldn’t be more proud of you both. Raising you to love others and love God is the sweetest thing in our lives. We adore you.