Mourn and Celebrate - Another Letter to Jude and Noah

Dearest Sons, (boys stamped forever as my children by that lovely X-chromosome that irrefutably camefrom me),

As night creeps in, I'm reminded yet again that you will grow up.

Wait, let me rewind. Of course it's obvious that you will grow. It's the blessing and curse of life, this fluid metamorphous from newborn to infant to baby to toddler to boy to young man. But oh how can I tell you of all of those moments I logged--minutes, hours, days, weeks--holding your petit frames with my comparatively large arms and praying, pleading even for you to grow?

I hated when I'd take you out, sweet Jude, and everyone would mistake your bird-like form for a girl. At every weekly weigh-in, I'd mentally push those cruel red digits up, a ceaseless, wordless mantra: Let him grow! Please, just one more pound this week!

Jude we were so terrified for you those first two months. We were new to this whole parenting labyrinth, much less to marriage, and you were so small! We wrapped you in those crazy-expensive premie diapers until you were two months old! You scared us endlessly, crying all night, never sleeping, never comforted, and never hungry.

And No, we thought we'd struck gold when we saw how hungry you were ALL THE TIME, but even you were so small. You too wore premies (only for three weeks, though). Your fathomless appetite always surprises us, but even you, our adorable "chunky monkey," are smaller than 80% of babies your age.

I've invested so much force in wanting you boys to physically thrive that a part of me got locked in desperate fast forward, always seeking the next pound, the next milestone, the next reassurance that you be healthy and thrive.

But as I just saw images of beautiful, tiny newborn Elliot, my heart buckled as I realized I could no longer remember you ever being so small. Noah, I know that only seven months ago God gave you your first gasping breath of real oxygen, but time has blazed by so quickly since then. I'd thought that I could capture every moment, photograph every mood, like a boulder planted in a rapid churning river. But time just spilled around me, surging to my left and my right, mocking my ridiculously futile attempts to stop it.

I'm a little panicked as I realize how many things I've already forgotten about you both and how many more I've missed while buried at the office. Don't mistake me: I'm SO HAPPY that you two are growing! (No, you crawled (really, full-on crawled!!) for the first time ever this week and my heart sang with delight!)

Of course I don't you to stay in diapers forever. I want you to grow and live a full, vibrant, God-exalting life! But as you age and mature, I'll be forced over and over again to say goodbye to each person that you both were while simultaneously welcoming with open arms the new you. I will mourn and celebrate each one of your milestones. I will miss you and meet you every day, week, month, year.

But whatever happens, know how much I love you, dearest Jude and No! I can never, never tell you enough, so I'll just have to keep on trying with these juvenile attempts.

With a hug for both of you and lots of tickles,

Mommy

Jenny Smith

3705 Oceanview Drive, Denton, TX, 76208