Sunday night as I put your sister to bed, she held up the little heart-shaped scrap of cloth I gave her the day after you were born, what she calls her “Lovey”.
“That’s two years old now,” I said.
“What? No it isn’t,” she said.
“Yes it is.”
“But you gave it to me after he came out of you!”
“Yes. Today is his birthday.”
She stared at me. “Wait, what?”
“That’s what a birthday is, Zo. It’s the day your brother came out of me.”
“Yeah, good night, sweetie.” I kissed her head. “Pleasant dreams!”
She was still whispering Whaaaaaaaat? as I shut the door.
And thus do we lovingly scar our children, especially our eldest.
Last night I asked you to say “love”, one of the few words you can say, and you shook your head against my shoulder. No.
I asked you to say “mama”. Again that gentle shake. No.
So I pointed to the projection on the ceiling, put there by the little lit-up turtle we have in your crib, and asked you to say “moon”.
“Moooonnn,” you whispered.
How do I love you, my boy whose favorite things are trucks, tea sets, and sticking bits of sausage down his pants?
How do I love you, my unexpectedly tow-headed mercurial whirlwind, king of the smile and the side-eye, who sings along without words?
How do I love you, my bookworm who insists on plunking down and paging through The Very Hungry Caterpillar every time we change your diaper?
The question really isn’t how do I but how couldn’t I?
Like your sister, you bring light wherever you go.
You may have been born under a full moon, but you will always be my sunshine.