Dear Simon, month 84 (85 really but whatever)

Dear Simon,

Hi. You are now 7. As always, the age you are now is my favorite age, but I think that is because you’re one of my two favorite kids. But you are certainly my most favorite 7  year old I’ve ever met so far.

You are still the same remarkable boy you’ve always been. You are so special to everyone you encounter. You are kind and fun, and lately funny, too. You like to tell jokes, you like to play LEGO and Playmobil still. You are a tremendous big brother to dear annoying 2 year old George. George just adores you as well.

You are in second grade now, and your teacher seems sweet and kind. You seem to like her a lot, though we do have mornings (like this morning) when you are frustrated that you have to go to school and read and write all day, when you would rather stay home and play. I get it, dude. I do. I wish we all could do that, too.

You have grown in so many ways this last year- you are tall, almost to my shoulder in height. You are skinny, and you are a good eater. You like biscuits and honey, and I try to make them a lot so you can load up on calories and get something to stick to those bones. You are still very snuggly and cuddly though. You love to watch movies on the couch with me, especially when it’s just you and me. We’ve watched E.T., The Princess Bride, Harry and the Hendersons, and the Harry Potter movies (1-3) so far. With the exception of HP, these are all movies I enjoyed as a kid, and I love sharing them with you. I also love that you are especially attuned to picking up on the bad words people in movies (and sometimes in real life) say out loud. You have spelled “the S word” to your dad, and are well aware of it’s intended usage. We talk about rude words that adults sometimes say. It prompted a conversation I had with your dad, when I asked him if he remembers the first time he ever cussed out loud. I remember when I did. I said “shit” during a dodgeball game in gym class in 4th grade. I uttered it under my breath and expected lightning to strike me down right there on the gym floor. It did not. Your dad called someone in Kindergarten an a$$hole. (You can ask him what that word means if you don’t know already…but I’m sure you do.) Kindergarten!? So I’ll leave the judgement up to you, but I imagine the first cuss word you say out loud will be the same as the one I said, but maybe a few years early. Ha!

My favorite time of day is still when we walk to school in the morning together. Though most mornings you run ahead with your friend Jake and leave me in the dust. You still sign “I love you” to me usually. But you didn’t this morning.  You were sad that it was Monday. We had such a good weekend together, as a family. We had the Ox Roast with fun rides and games. Last weekend we went to the Ohio State Football game together and had a blast doing that. We are looking forward to another trip to New York City in October to see your Great Aunt Bonnie. We are going to see the show The Lion King.

Your dad and I are constantly in awe of what a great kid you are. The only thing I would change about you is I wish you saw yourself the way we see you. We are so incredibly proud of the smart, hard working and kind person you are. You are an amazing example to your brother, who I believe will need a good leader like you to pave the way for him. And no one is sweeter and more willing to give hugs and hold hands, than you. I will cry when we don’t hold hands anymore, and when you don’t tell me how good I smell, or nuzzle into my belly when you hug me. But your height and demeanor and all of the signs that are pointing toward pre-adolescence are there right beneath the surface. And I know that one by one those things will all but disappear, and I’ll be left looking at videos and pictures of you at age 7, just like I sit and look at pictures and videos of you at age 3, now.

People say “the days are long but the years are short” when you have kids. And it is a cliche saying that is absolutely true. But I am so in love with you that even the long days don’t seem long enough. You’re growing too fast. We all have too much to do.

I hope that someday you read this and can somehow feel the warmth and love that I have for you. It’s so hard to properly convey it here in a written message. Becoming your mom 7 years ago was the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. Loving you is the easiest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Thank you for being the person you are and  thank you in advance for forgiving me  for every misstep I make in parenting you or being the support person you need me to be. I love your skinny little guts and can’t wait to see what this year holds.

All of my heart,



Simon, questions age 7

I haven not written Simon his Birthday letter, but I did manage to quickly get him to sit and answer his yearly questions for me. School has started and we’re on day 3 of SECOND grade. How is this possible?
Here’s a peek into Simon’s head at age 7.
  1. What is your favorite color? Black and Red
  2. What is your favorite toy? my Pikachu
  3.  What is your favorite tv show or movie? Home Alone 1 and Home Alone 2
  4. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Chicken Nuggets and fries
  5.  What is your favorite outfit? tank tops and shorts
  6. What is your favorite game? That’s a bit tricky, but…it would actually be Duck Hunt.
  7. What is your favorite snack? goldfish
  8. What is your favorite animal? Cheetah.
  9. What is your favorite song? Shut Up and Dance with me. (now singing “This woman is my dest-ton-it!”
  10.  Who is your best friend? Probably all of the Owens that I know.
  11.  Where is your favorite place to go? Zoo, not the petting zoo part. The Cheetahs
  12. What would you like to learn more about now that you’re 7? Science physics
  13. What do you love about yourself? Nothing. Oh fine, that I have blue eyes.
  14. What does Daddy do at work? Help people drive and get their driving license
  15. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? All my stuffed animals
  16. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? cereal
  17. What do you want to be when you grow up? A worker at Jeni’s Ice Cream. On my break I could have ice cream.

Here are Simon’s answers to these same questions at Age 4, Age 5 and Age 6.


George, 2 and a half on June 13, 2016

Hi George, I’m a month late on your half-birthday post/letter. I apologize for that, really.

But keeping up with two young bucks like you and your brother requires a good deal of energy, patience, snacks, and as it turns out, Pinot Grigio. But we can talk about that later. Instead, let’s marvel at the young man you’ve become over the past 6 months.

The year between 2 and 3 is heartbreaking for a number of reasons, but I think my least favorite is watching all of your chub melt away and your neck lenthen out so now you look less like a baby and more like a BOY. And the last time we had “haircut night” and your dad and Simon sat in the living room while I buzzed their hair with the clippers, you requested a hair cut too– with the clippers. And now you have a little boy haircut instead of the wispy curls that I let get a little too long over your ears. I love and hate that, too.

In June we took a vacation to Hilton Head again this year, and you did not like the beach. We went to the beach with another family, who also had young children, and going-to-the-beach with young children is never an easy feat. It takes time and effort and TRIPS of hauling too and fro, chairs and towels and picnics and floats. Sand toys and the Big Tent, etc. As soon as we arrive on the beach this year under our beautiful Big Tent, you put your sunscreened arms around my neck and cried “I want my IPAAADDDDDD!!!!!!!!” How dare we bring you to a private beach in South Carolina, when you could be tapping on a screen watching Power Puff girls for hours on end? We are terrible parents. But we spent those days at the beach trying to get you near the water– Nope, trying to get you to play in the sand– Nope. And mostly I would just have a beverage and focus on the waves instead of the whining because oh my, you did not like the beach. Maybe next year!

Aside from the beach, we went to the pool on vacation, and we go to our local pool quite often now that we’re home. You do NOT like to go into the water where you can’t touch, whether a grown up (Mommeeeeeee!) has you or not. You do not entirely trust your “puddle jumper” float, so you stay safely bouyed in the baby pool or by the steps, armed with at least 1 “watta squirter”. 

And you spray anyone around you. I spend most of the time apologizing for your squirting people in the face, or offering your victims squirters they can use to defend themselves. Water squirters are your second favorite things, second only to screens like the ipad.

Oh! How could I forget?! While I appreciated that you didn’t scream ALL the way down to SC in the car, and only for a few hours- once we finally arrived at the beach, you threw Daddy’s wedding ring into the lagoon (not to be found) and my phone onto the concrete (rendered unfixable). So I actually don’t have any pictures from vacation on my phone. We did not let that wreck our vacation but we did joke about feeding you to the alligators…until we heard a terrible story about a toddler ACTUALLY being eaten by an alligator, after that we just sort of let you off the hook.

Right now you still are a very picky eater, preferring “take, tookies, ice team, and blue popsittles” to pretty much anything else. We celebrate any time you ingest something that was grown from the earth. You started eating grapes occasionally and we are so excited! However, you’ve stopped eating the only vegetable you previously ate- corn. Now we still put veggies in front of you and you usually do not even try them. We have to sneak them into food (tacos- pasta, but it rarely works) but you will eat: bread, sausage, any processed food item, canned pineapple, applesauce, noodles (depending on the shape) and cheese.

You love to play superheros, baseball, legos and anything Simon is playing. You love art and chalk, bubbles and flowers. You hang out in other people’s yards and on other people’s porches. We take an evening stroll almost every night and it is my favorite part of the day. You often say “I can’t wanna….do that” “I can’t wanna da sun, mom” and you ask to wear my sunglasses. You love to go fast and run, but you do not like the wind. You like to sing the itsy bitsy spider and ABC’s. You love to dance. But mostly you love to run and say “you tant tatch me mom!”

I usually can’t.

At night I still have to lay with you to get you to sleep. You ask me to “tucka back mom” which means you want me to lay there and rub or pat your back. You told me I was beautiful one night while we laid there. You tell me you “lub” me, but only if I say it first. In the mornings you make your dad stop and get “one more tiss” at least 5 times as he’s carrying you to the car. Your dimples and eyes take over your face when you smile, and it slays me even when it shouldn’t.

You are so bad and so good all at once…like a delicious dessert – so many calories but worth every last bite. You are everything I never knew I needed in this life, buddy. Thank you for being a part of it. I am endlessly proud of you and love that we’re on this journey as a family together.

I’ll try to be better about getting these letters to you on time.

You have my heart,



Dear Simon, age 6 and a half.

Dear Simon.
Today is Sunday, April 10th. I’ve been meaning to write you a letter every day for months now, because there is never enough time for me to say all of the things I want to say.

There’s never enough time in between the times I say, “What else could you try?” and “That wasn’t a very kind thing to do” or “Did you put your shoes on? Are your teeth brushed? If I touch your toothbrush will the bristles be wet?”

In between all of that nagging Simon, I want to say the things I hurriedly try to whisper in your ear when I tuck you in at night. Only I want to drag them out and say more than, “I am so proud of you” and “You are such a good boy” and “Tomorrow is going to be a great day” or on the harder nights, “Tomorrow we’ll try harder.”

I want to tell you that I love watching you grow. You’ve become so lanky and tall. Your hair is this golden color and you want to let it grow down to your shoulders, you say. Your knees and elbows are pointy and sharp, sharply contrasted against the memories I have of you what seems like moments ago, round and soft. I can close my eyes and imagine you the other way, but I sure do love the person you are now.

You are SO incredibly kind to your brother and other people. You are so amazingly generous with your toys, your space, your THINGS. George has no idea how lucky he is to have you, but someday he will know. I will tell him, don’t worry.

I love snuggling with you, under a blanket on the couch, at the movies in the theater, and when you ask me to snuggle with you at bedtime- I’m sorry I never stay long enough. Right now George sucks a lot of my energy out at bedtime, so sometimes I’m rushing to get out of your room and just be alone for a while. I will try to be better.

This year at school has been OK. The friend (Matteo) you play the most with is moving away. You’ve said almost every morning lately that you hate school and you don’t want to go. It breaks my heart a little because I know you love learning and socializing, and that your negative feelings about school are connected to other feelings and I want to make you feel more sure of yourself and confident. I do a lot of reading, trying to find out how I can help YOU know how awesome you are. Because you are so awesome, Simon. Your dad and I say it all the time.

 So I just wanted to tell you, I love the person you are right now, at age 6 and a half. And I’ve loved you at every age, though with each year you grow my heart grows in a way I didn’t expect it to. Then you show me something tremendous that I didn’t expect, and I am blown away by your kindness of spirit once again.
I am so incredibly proud of you. I am so sorry that I am not always the best mom. Most of the time I’m rushing around or getting things ready or about to leave- and I need to work on all of that. But please know in the times when I finally sit down and I think about our lovely little life, that I hope you have the tiniest idea of how much I love you. Because whatever idea you have, it’s the tip of the iceberg, dude.

All my heart,



For George, month 24. Age 2


Dear Doh-gee. Dohge. Georgie Porgie,  You are every bit of age 2 that a toddler could be. The problem is, you’ve been this way since you turned one. Haha! You are full of spunk, you need very little sleep. You want to laugh and GO and dance and sing. You have started talking so much and you say the cutest things like:

“Dye-Mon” Simon.

“Eye-nah wocka Mickey Missmiss.” I want to watch Mickey Twice Upon a Christmas.

“Otay” OK.

“Tanta Taus!” Santa Claus.

“Cheer me!” Applaud me while I entertain you.

“Doe deep Mommy” Go to sleep, mommy (in his bed).

“Eye yuh you” I love you.

“Go go” Stroller.

“Leela” Lisa.

“Dammaw and Tappah” Grandpa and Grandpa

“Nina” Banana

“Ah-tee” Cookie

“Imma DOOPERHERO” I’m a superhero.

You will say something and we will repeat what we THINK you said and if we’re right you will respond gleefully with “Otay!” and if we are wrong, you will go completely boneless and scream in a heap on the floor until we have turned on some sort of Mickey Mouse video or ignored you long enough to distract you from your own misery.

DSC_0626You are incredibly strong willed and you (unlike your brother) cannot be easily distracted or bribed with snacks/treats/food. You eat meat and carbs mostly, we’re working on integrating more fruits and vegetables into your diet but you are much pickier than your brother ever was. You love being strapped in your booster seat/high chair thing with snacks and a show.DSC_0525 Obviously you are obsessed with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or Mickey Missmiss but you will also occasionally accept Super Why and Curious George as options of things to watch.

You still love anything with a screen. DSC_0811An iPad, and iphone, an iPod, a “puter” and shows. Oh, how you love shows. You have recently started yelling at us halfway through ANY show that is on, “I no likey, mommy” because you are bored. So sitting still at school in a few years should be a fun exercise for you, dear boy.

You love animals. “Pishies” and titty tats and doggies. You love to call “Egg-ick” (Unlce Eric) and look at the “towls” (cows) and you love to see their bunny rabbit or visit the bunny rabbit at Simon’s School. Sometimes we’ll take you to the Pet Store to look at pets or Walmart to look at “pishies”. Someday if we ever get to the zoo during daylight hours, I’m sure you will absolutely flip your lid. You love animals. I love that about you.

We recently transitioned you from a crib to a Big Boy Bed and part of your birthday present was your new big boy room. It is covered with farm animals and a new dresser and Mickey Mouse sheets. You seemed to be FINALLY be adjusting into the transition, and of course we took our Christmas Tour of Northeastern Ohio so  our sleeping arrangements/training were completely screwed up after that. We are still working on it but I’ve heard a rumor (from Daddy) that you napped today in your room. It is January 17th. We moved to your big boy bed in the beginning of December. This was your first nap IN YOUR BED. We’ve spent many weekend afternoons driving you around to nap in your carseat until today. THANK YOU, SON.

Earplugs, a baby gate and wine, those all help me get through these nights, in year TWO, Dohge, of you waking up more than twice to just scream at the doorway of your room. You told your daddy one night that one of your new pillows “is Mommy’s piwwow” because I think you originally thought we put the twin sized bed in there so we could sleep there together. Oh son, those snuggling moments are sweet, but no. No no.

DSC_0320You have this wispy hair that sort of curls and does it’s own thing. It is blond and you have these incredible dimples and a smile that fills up your whole face. You are still working on getting molars and canines and I am sort of hoping that those last remaining teeth coming through will also help in the sleep department.

DSC_0397DSC_0223You are rough and tumble, we get at least 1 incident report per week about you tumbling over some cars you were pushing or ending up with a bruise on your cheek from running into something at the daycare. You like it there, they have lots to do and a great playground and two indoor gym areas for you to get lots and lots of energy out. At your parent teacher conference they talked about how much they like you, and how much you’re learning and what a good kid you are.You play hard, you get hurt. You cry and then it’s over quickly.

7f5714f2-baae-4c6a-ac67-b0442890926fYou ADORE your brother and often whiz right past me when I walk in the door from work first, uninterested. You yell “HI DYE-MON!” and you run directly to him for a hug. Simon loves you too, but in a “I wanna snuggle you” kind of way that you aren’t really interested in. You want to play with him, do what he does- play big kid LEGO’s, be a superhero, carry a sword, dress up and look in the mirror, be on the top bunk. I love watching you play together, and I imagine in the next year or two it will only get better.


For your birthday we had a small party at Graeter’s Ice Cream which has an indoor playground in it, and you had a blast. We had balloons and ice cream and pizza. You ate it all up and had so much fun. DSC_0373Then when your actual birthday came around, I made you a Mickey Mouse Birthday Cake and Lisa came over and we had ice cream and cake and you were so tickled to be sang to. You call the birthday song “Happy to You” and you ask to sing it a lot, still. DSC_0328

You loved Christmas and playing with the big kids, even though you were pretty sick over the actual holiday, you rallied and had a blast roaming the halls of the hotel when we were in Wadsworth to see the Geig side of the family. You adore your big cousins, Wyatt and Jake and Owen, and they love letting you follow them around, too.



You live and play hard and fast and watching you grow up is just a joy to me. I love watching the gears turn in your head as you’re thinking and growing and talking more and more. I’m sorry it took me over a month to post this, and I’m sorry that I’m probably not that great of a mom with documenting things the second time around. But I am busy being with you, and keeping you alive, and out of the bathroom cabinets huffing Lysol.

I love your little guts.




Letter to Gabe, month 96 of 456



It’s so funny how this has worked out. We never meant for any of this to happen, and it did. It’s the 8th birthday of yours’ that we’re celebrating together I think. So roundabout 95 months that we’ve been together. And 72 of  those 95 months we’ve spent being parents, raising first just one kid and now TWO. I never stop and ask myself “how did this happen?” because we both know how it happened. But also because, I’m usually thanking my lucky stars that things have worked out the way they did. I know you disagree with the idea of a Higher Power or the Universe “smiling” down at us, but honestly- if anything is proof to me that there is some sort of Bigger Thing Out There, you are that to me. Otherwise, how did I get so lucky, so many times in a row?



I’m not very good at explaining things anymore. We’re both tired. Our days are fueled by exhaustion and caffeine and a whiteboard calendar that changes weekly. We’re driven by the same things all families are driven by I assume: soccer practices, bills to pay, mouths to feed, baths to give, fun needs to be had, things need to get done. But through it all I love laughing and living with you. But,  since it’s your birthday I want to try and explain to you – maybe just brush the surface– of how I feel about you.


I love you the way in a way that I never expected to love anyone. It’s not the kind of romantic love that feels like unexpected flowers and sappy pop songs, or slow dances in school cafeterias. It started with butterflies and uncertainty, sure- but that all changes eventually. However, you are so handsome that you still take my breath away sometimes. 1930440_66624925423_7489_n

I know I am not always the kind of partner I should be, but I want to admit that publicly, and then work harder at getting better. I want you to be as happy as I am, at least. I want to keep laughing at you, with you, at our kids, at our life, at everything. I want to keep getting close to you on the couch once a month when I feel the need to snuggle, until it gets annoying and we go off to our separate corners.

I want to work hard at loving you.

I want to keep going, I want to be good to you.

But the best part about this feeling, this drive to want to improve us, is knowing that you put forth that effort too. I so appreciate that about you.

Is it perfect? Of course not! We have days when things are muttered under our breath. We have bad mornings sometimes. And I KNOW you wonder why I never empty the diaper pail, just like I wonder why you never empty the dishwasher.

I want to listen to you more. I want to put my phone down. I want to look at you across our new kitchen table, drink gin and gingers and talk about the epic failures of modern society and culture. I want to give you the space you need when you need a break. I want to be someone you look forward to seeing each day, as I look forward to seeing you. I want us to continue stopping in the middle of what we’re doing to hug, touch, connect- prompting the boys to look at us like, “What are you guys doing?”.

I am not in love with you in the way that I expected to be in love with a husband, if I ever imagined having one. I am in love with you in a way that is so far beyond that.

10366069_723715591023354_8350676238196923661_nSure I take you for granted. I probably take advantage of your willingness to stay home and watch the kids too often. I stomp around when dirty dishes are in the sink or when the clean dishes are STILL in the dishwasher. November2014_PortraitShoppe_IMG_0251

I cook the same meals all the time. They’re “too tomatoe-y” or “too bean-y” based and I can admit that openly. But being your partner means I will continue to search online for healthier versions of the soul food you like. I would like you to live a long time.

You have this patience about you that I do not have, especially with our kids. You are an incredible father. You are so fun to be around. They just love being with you, playing with you, how you connect with them. I am proud to be with you whenever we go places. You have this smile that lights up your whole face and it is so. damned. sexy.


I don’t tell you often enough that I appreciate you. I love that we kiss goodbye in the mornings while you whisk George out the door and I get to kiss you both at the same height and time on workdays when our routines are synced.  I love that you help me do things that aren’t that important to you, but you know that they’re important to me: making the bed, putting away all the toys after the kids are down, cleaning the floors before our parents show up. Truly, you have no idea how much I appreciate you. I should tell you and show you more. I love sitting across a table from you. I love being your partner. 11891082_10155948766070424_2259766806012188088_n

I appreciate you, Gabe. I love you more than you’ll ever really know. I’m not the best at communicating it, but neither are you so we can call it even. And I’ll still continue to work hard at us. Happy 38th birthday, best friend of mine. I love your guts.


Simon letter, month 72 (age 6)

Dear Simon,

You have been six years old  for almost a month now, and I’m so sorry for not having written this sooner. The last part of the summer and each week that you’ve been in first grade- FIRST?! grade…have sped by lightning-fast. You are a boy now. There is absolutely not even the tiniest bit of baby left on you. There is no chunk in your cheeks. You are all knees and elbows and full of amazing ideas and observations. Though I lay my eyes on you every day and am amazed by your growth, one of the coolest things about being your mom, is how much I really just enjoy spending time with you. You are such a nice, thoughtful and funny boy.

No one could ask for a better big brother than you. And George is NOT the easiest little brother, as we know. But you have patience unlike any that I’ve seen before. And you laugh at George when he is doing the most annoying things. He loves you so much and mimics every little thing you do. I KNOW that will get annoying in months and years to come, but consider it a compliment. He wants to be like you because you are SO COOL.

This summer we went on a bunch of adventures- to parks and festivals and picnics. You learned how to ride your bike without training wheels, you had 2 birthday parties (again!) and went on two beach vacations. You started first grade with the smallest bit of nervousness, and only needed me to walk you into your classroom 3 days out of the first 5. We are so proud of you. You have become this incredibly smart and intuitive kid. You pick up on emotions and situations that I don’t think other kids would recognize.

At the same time, you still very much love to imagine and play, which is another reason I am so proud of you! Not everyone can be creative enough to entertain themselves with two metal hair clips, or a travel book light, or whatever thing you’ve found in the house. But, you do. You come up with these great scenarios in your head and I love to watch you play them out, or listen to you play. Your imaginative playful nature is one of my favorite things about you, second only to your caring and kindness towards others. You are awesome and amazing, and turning out to be such a lovely young person.

All of this is not to say that we haven’t had our share of growing pains, ups and downs, fits and dizzyspells, if you will. In the recent past, you’ve gotten incredibly angry with us over seemingly unimportant things (in the grand scheme of life) — though they are very important to you. You have become filled with rage over: bedtime, losing privileges because of the way you’ve talked to us, the fact that we don’t have a finished basement playroom (?!), us asking you to eat dinner, “chores”, among other things. Though it is hard for us to understand in the moment why you are screaming at us, what is very apparent is that you are frustrated to a point of complete and utter loss of control over your emotions. We have talked about ways to deal with being angry. We talk about pillow punching and yelling into the pillow, taking alone time, etc. I know that after you have these fits, that you feel bad about it- I can tell. I can also tell that part of the frustration is our fault. Either I’m not listening, or I’m not stopping to hug and kiss you enough, or I haven’t fully acknowledged your feelings on an issue.

Does this make your behavior ok?


But, I can admit that you are not the only person at fault in those moments. Though surprising, (because you have never been a child to throw fits), I know that I should NEVER be surprised by a child’s behavior, and I should only be surprised by my own reaction to it. And I have been, I have. I hope you know that we’re trying. I hope you know that we’re listening, and that being a parent is almost as hard as being a kid. Rules are hard. It’s hard to not have fun all the time, and to have to do things you don’t want to do like go to bed or wake up on school days. There are lots of times when I too want to scream at someone or completely lose it over what would seem silly to anyone else. We are all just learning together.

And buddy, in the mornings, after dad and George leave for work and daycare, you and I have the house to ourselves. It is quiet, and we talk. Sometimes you watch a show or sometimes we’ll pack lunches together or read a book. Sometimes we’ll eat breakfast together. But it is quiet. It is calm, and most of the time, it is our time, and it is my favorite part of the day. We walk to school and you still hold my hand. You still turn towards me and rub your face in my belly like you want to hug and stay there in the yard of the school instead of going in with your friends. But eventually the bell rings, and the doors open. You find a friend to walk in with- usually Madelyn or Owen, and you run towards them. You turn around when I yell “I love you!” and you sign “I love you” to me, and wave. Mornings with you are my favorite.

This morning after you signed “I love you”, you turned around a second time and signed the word “poop”. I spent about 3 minutes trying to decide if I was annoyed by this or thought it was funny. I’ve decided it’s funny, because becoming a big kid is hard. Wanting to be a funny cool kid is hard. And the sign for “poop” is funny and I don’t think any of the other parents know it. And at least it wasn’t a different sign.

Oh Simon. Watching you grow up makes me wonder how I will ever manage to make it without my heart exploding into a million pieces with love for you and your brother.

I love you. I love you. I love you.