A Thank You Note to My Son


Dear Henry,

Thank you. There are so, so many things I want to say thank you for, but most importantly right now is to say thank you for being you.

Over the past eight months, you have often had to play second fiddle to your brother. At first, it was the newness of it all as your dad and I tried (often unsuccessfully) to juggle this gigantic shift in our lives where we now had two kids to take care of.

After that, and for quite a few months in a row, it was that Harrison was a HARD baby. He didn’t sleep, he cried a lot, and we were beyond exhausted. We snapped at you a lot in that time, and we often didn’t mean to. But we were frustrated, angry, sad, and sometimes just miserable. And we took it out on you. When you asked us a question, or needed help with something, or got upset like any other four-year-old does, we snapped because we couldn’t take ONE MORE THING.

It wasn’t fair to you. But you did what you always do, and you picked yourself up, you moved on, and you forgave us.

After Harrison calmed down and we finally got into the swing of things, you still often took a back seat to him strictly because he can’t do things for himself. You can. And we so often expect more of you than we probably should.

Because you’ve always been such an amazingly wonderful, smart, rule following kid, we just continue to expect that of you. At this point we just expect that you’ll help us, that you’ll WANT to help us. And 90% of the time you do. But the other 10%? We need to allow you to just be. To let you be a four year old who wants to be in his own world, not always in baby world.

Henry, I am so proud of who you are becoming, and of who you are as a big brother. You are always the first to go to Harrison, the first to comfort him, and I can feel how much he loves you. You love him like I hadn’t expected. And to watch you with him fills my heart with so much pride.

You, big man, are truly something special. And so, I just want to say thank you again. Thank you for being patient with us. Thank you for being patient with Harrison. Thank you for allowing us to fall and stumble and get angry and cry and so many other things you shouldn’t have had to see from your parents.

You’ve seen it all from us in the past eight months and yet you’re still quick with the hugs, the smiles, the “I love you’s”.

Without you here to make us smile and laugh and cuddle when we were in the darkest days with Harrison, I don’t know how we would’ve survived. You were a light at the end of the days when we needed it most. And even if we didn’t fully appreciate it at the time, I know that now looking back on those days, you truly saved us. You saved me. You reminded me that I had already done something right just by raising you, and it let me believe that we’d come out on the other side with Harrison, too.

So, thank you, Henry. Thank you for being exactly who you are. Thank you for being ours. All of ours.

We love you to the moon and back.

MOTHERHOODSarah HartleyComment