Family Day 2023

tommy blowing out candles on a cake

Dear Tommy,

Today, we have been a family for 365 days – a whole year! And you have made every single one of those days brighter, more joyful, and it’s impossible to imagine our life before you. You are the glue that holds our family together – our days are full – of love, of laughter, of energy, of questions, of silliness, of cars and trucks and trash trucks, of zooming around the family room, and of snuggles. You are rambunctious and the energizer bunny in human form, but you are also so very cuddly and your favorite place continues to be laying on top of me with your head squished into my cheek and your arms wrapped so tightly around my neck.

Your dad and I were so nervous leading up to meeting you and welcoming you into our family, and I think you were probably nervous, too. When I look back at photos from our first few days and weeks together, you were smiling, sure, but there wasn’t that mischievous little twinkle in your eyes that we see (and associate with you!) now.

You are the most resilient, brave, and strong person I will ever meet. And, I have the privilege to learn how to be just like you by watching how you take on whatever the world throws your way. You have already experienced more loss, more hardship, and more change than most people will go through in a lifetime. Yet you wake up smiling and ready for whatever the day brings.

You have never met a stranger – just this morning I was talking to the owners of the coffee shop we go to all the time – and they remember the first time we came in together and just how happy and friendly you have been since they first met you. As I reflect on our long flight home, I think we met just about every passenger because you waved and that naturally started a conversation. You wave at and give knucks to everyone we pass, love to blow kisses, and are very into big squeezes. Before bed every night, we have to have a family hug and you think it is just the greatest thing of all time. I think every child has an innate talent, and yours is being a ray of sunshine and lighting up any room you walk (or run!) into. What a gift you are to anyone fortunate to know you!

You are strong willed, oh so stubborn, and totally independent. 71 days of no naps this past fall says as much. You know what you want and won’t let anything get in your way. Right now, you say “I got it” anytime we ask if you need help with something – I can’t wait to see where this fierce independence takes you in life.

You have the most incredible memory and mind. I wish I knew how your mind works because the things you remember are simply mind boggling. You have every movie we’ve watched memorized, know exactly where everything goes in the kitchen, and love hide and seek. You’re very much into “same” and matching things – you see two things of the same color, object, etc. and say “same” – but it comes out sounding like “sima” and it is just the most precious thing. Your favorite song is “A Sky Full of Stars” and you belt it out at the top of your lungs – we listen to it on the way to and from school every day.

You are so silly and are the funniest, coolest two year old around. You’re always finding new ways to make us laugh until we start crying – there is no “same” day with you. Every day brings new inside jokes, ways to make you smile, and the sweetest memories together.

You are playful and wildly creative. I love watching your mind at work – you come up with the most fun games to play and love showing dad and I what you are working on. I will forever remember the hours and hours you have spent standing at the windowsill – the perfect track to race your cars and trucks.

There is nothing you love more than dogs. You love to sit at the big window and watch for them. As soon as you see one, you shout “doggy coming! doggy coming!” and wave and knock on the window until they notice you. You are so gentle with them – you know how to hold out your hand to say hi, love scratching under their chins, and get down on their level to play. On our walks you’ll pull weeds and grass and make piles of “lunch” for the dogs that go by. I often wonder how long it will be before we get one of our own. 

Most of all, you are wonderful you. You are perfect just the way you are, who you were created and destined to be. I pray you always know how loved, wanted, and chosen you are. That you are a gift to this world just by being you. There’s a line in my favorite children’s book that says “you are a dream the world once dreamt and now you are part of its song.” And isn’t that the truth. 

Thank you for opening your heart to us, trusting us to take care of you, being our sidekick and up for any adventure, delighting in the little things, and most of all, being patient as we figure this parenting thing out. I don’t think we’ll ever have it truly figured out, but we are learning and growing and becoming better versions of ourselves with your help and guidance.  I am a better person since you came along, and being your mom is the greatest gift and biggest blessing I will ever know. You have changed our lives forever, in all of the best ways and in ways I never imagined.

Love you always and forever, Mom

collage of 3 images from family day
family photo