RJ, I love you more than life itself. My first born, you changed my life like no other person ever has or ever will. You were the perfect baby–sweet and beautiful and happy and my first example of the profoundness of motherhood. There you were, needing me for food, comfort, love, cuddles, all in a moments notice without any hesitation as if you instinctually knew that I was for you. You are the overwhelming love of my life. I’m sure your father feels the same. I distinctly remember the moment I felt myself become the second love of his life. It was like you were a magnet for all the love in the room. You are still that way. You light up a room, you draw love out of the people around you.
Named after your father, who was named after your grandfather, I knew I would need to make sure you had a strong sense of self and individuality. How would I grow you into a strong, caring, respectful, thoughtful young man? I lean on your father for a lot of this but I have my own ways.
For you, I wish that you always remain respectful and thoughtful to women–that you see me and your sister in all the women you come across. By that I mean, realize that they are people with families, their own thoughts and feelings, and that they are deserving of respect (even if they, themselves, do not feel deserving). I wish this for you because I can tell that you will be smart, handsome, athletic, and charming–all the attributes that lean towards society giving you “passes” for certain behavior. I wish that you realize that this is a falsehood and reject these ideas.
You are old enough now that you are fine sleeping in your own room. You are, after all, a “big boy” now. Sometimes I carry your sleeping body into my room so that I can cuddle with you because I know the day is quickly approaching that you will be too big for me to sneak in these cuddle sessions. It is already a task to carry you as it is, big boy.
For you, I wish that you always remember that you have a mother who loves you–who will be there for you no matter what but will always hold you accountable because I refuse to raise up brats. You are not owed anything besides the respect that comes with being human. The respect & life that comes with being a good man, an honorable person–that, you have to earn. I wish that you choose to be that kind of person and I hope that I am laying a foundation for you that will make that choice an easy one.
I wish that you choose to go through life with enough understanding that the world will not always see you for who you are but for what you look like and that you make decisions that will always lend to you making it home safely at the end of the day. I wish the world was not this way.
I pray that you will always love your sister as you do now. You are a great big brother.
I wish that you could stay a baby forever but I am looking forward to the man you will become. I am already proud of you.
I wish for you an extraordinary life, my big boy.