Dear Little Boy, Your First Thanksgiving

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Dear Little Boy,

Hi little red head. How are you? Are you used to the noise of our family yet? There's not a lot of us but we've never been a quiet bunch. None of us are over how great you are yet. You're seven months now, a teensy tiny little guy with the biggest noggin in town. You're getting so much stronger, you just figured out how to army crawl and will snatch up any phone left unattended on the floor. You're still pretty wobbly thanks to your heavy head but you're starting to be able to sit up for a little bit too. You're getting so big, little boy! It's so fun to see your personality start shining through. Right now, you're pretty easy going, but the sight of your mom and dad puts you at ease when you're in another's arms. Your big blue eyes are constantly taking everything in. You study everything you see and I can see the little wheels in your head turning as you catalog all the new information. You are so smiley! I had you for two days this week and melted about a hundred times at your toothless grin and squeaky giggle. So far, you think I'm funny, and if nobody else ever does again, I'm okay with that. 

Did you know today is your very first Thanksgiving? It's a pretty special day (if you only think about the thankfulness part and not the origin story or black Friday stuff). Today is one of the days we make sure we remember how blessed we are to live our lives. It's a day we practice being thankful, and Little Boy, I'm thankful for you. 

I'm thankful for your very life. Just the fact that you breathe the same air and feel the same warm sun as I do knocks me over in gratitude for your life. I'm thankful that you hold a promise that as long as you are here, there will be good in the world. I'm thankful I get to see your mama's eyes light up like they do when she looks at you. I'm thankful to see her carefree weirdness, my favorite part of her that has always been carefully checked, run wild with you. I'm thankful you've become a string that has brought our hearts ever closer. We've always been sisters, your mom and I, but it's only in our adult lives that we've become friends. You have so much to do with that joy, thank you, little boy. I'm thankful you've helped your daddy and I step over the last hurdle of slight awkwardness from being friends to being family. I love how I get to see him step up for you and for Sydnie every day, something he's never once missed doing and has never for a second not warmed my heart. I adore seeing his silly and sweet sides come out. You melt him, Little Boy. You melt everybody.

I'm thankful you don't have a single shot at being normal. Your mom and dad are so weird, Little Boy, especially with you. They call each other "Ma and Pa" and say certain words with an accent that doesn't exist anywhere else in the world. They have the weirdest hand gestures and speak in a weird voice reserved for only the ones they love the most. They call you "Peanut Boy" "Nugget Boy" or sometimes just "Boy." They make you laugh so hard, just like they've always made me laugh. I'm just so proud of them. They're such great people. I can't wait until you understand how lucky you are to be theirs.

I'm thankful I get to see your grandma with you. I've always wished I remembered what she was like when we were babies. How she talked to me, played with me, who she was when she was my age and I was yours. I've spent hours searching my memory bank for her back then but nothing's ever come up. But now that you're here, I feel like I finally get to catch a glimpse. Because you're here, I understand so many different kinds of love so much more. How my aunts look at me and love me fiercely like their own is exactly how I look at you. How your great grandma was with her own babies. All of that, you carried in with your arrival. Thank you, Little Boy.

I'm thankful for what you're teaching me. I love that you know exactly what you want and need and don't have a single ounce of shame when announcing you're ready for it. I love that you're happiest when in your mama's arms and when you want to be in them, you make it known without a single moment of hesitation. I love how you snuggle into her scent and stay there for as long as you need. I hope you never, even for a second, lose that. This world is going to try to force you to wear shame like its your favorite brand but know all of us are going to fight to protect you from it. You are what dreams are made of, even on your worst day.   

Little Boy, I'm so thankful for you and for how you've changed all of our lives. We are all so much better now that we get to hold you in our arms. I love you, Little Boy. Thank you for being you. Happy 1st Thanksgiving. 

Love, 

Aunt Jo