Teddy, Teds, TeDo, Bubba, Abbott—you already have a list of nicknames your loved ones refer to you as.
I call you Bubba. My Bubba. You are literally the happiest, smiliest, most easy-going baby—and thank-all-that-is-good-in-this-world because it had been one hell of a trying year—A time in life when I didn’t think I’d survive one more of life’s curveballs, but then you came and instantly revived my soul. You hear my voice from across the room or see my face and immediately start smiling and chattering. You are one very vocal baby—your bright blue eyes and dimples could light up a room—your whole face smiles with you and it’s more than enough to light up my entire world.
It’s hard to believe you’ve only been here (not even) 3 months now, because it’s hard to remember what life was before you. For me. For your sister. For your dad. The dogs are still trying to figure you out [Kaiah is constantly by your side during tummy time and may be kind of annoyed that she has ONE more human to guard from all those scary sounds outside—but Logie is patiently waiting (on his ottoman) until you’re Charley-sized and can share your treats—then he may get off his cozy thrown (AKA ottoman) for you too]. Your sister, god, she just loves you. It amazes me every day. I used to say it with Kaiah and Logie—the best thing we ever did for Kaiah, was give her Logie—and now I think the same with Charley. The best thing we did for Charley was give her you. Companionship, friendship, partnership, at times-rivalry, but always- love. And knowing you all have one another is this Mama’s greatest gift.
Whenever your Nonnie calls, which is every morning, and asks me how you and Charley are. I instantly say: “he’s perfect, she’s perfect, they’re perfect.” She knows that’ll be my answer every day and every day she still asks. And with every bit of me, it’s my honest truth—to me, you are perfect. Whether I’d been up all night cuddling a feverish Charley or breastfeeding you on minimal sleep, I wake up from that minimal sleep and feel truly, completely, absolutely blessed. You two are the best things I’ve ever done and ever will do. I am blessed. It’s that simple. It’s that honest.
This love, it’s a hard thing to process and even harder to try to describe—I’m sure many have tried and failed to adequately—but I do know many more have done a much better job than I have. Are there words to adequately describe this depth of love for another being? I don’t know and I’m honestly doubtful.
I was pregnant with Charley when I was in the homestretch of my dissertation and pregnant with you when your dad and I had a falling out and decided it was best to move forward separately—sometimes I wonder if whoever-is-up-there strategically placed you in my womb during such trying times to ensure I’d have the strength to muster through. Because if I had to do it just for myself I don’t know if I could have—but having your sister, having you, two people I love more than anything in this world has given me more strength and love than I’ve ever known—and enabled me to not only push through, but to thrive through, to love through.
Talking to a fellow mama and truly wonderful person and friend, in one line she said everything I had been feeling, she said that she thinks life gave her kids to be able to work on the broken pieces within her own heart—to finally heal. Love can do that. Love is many things—but it is definitely healing. Like her, becoming a mother also brought me to my knees. It has healed me, transformed me, empowered me. It has allowed me to find solace in finally embracing what I’ve gone through and who I am, how these experiences have shaped me, changed me. And who I am is, has always been, always will be, whole. Loving you allowed me to get there— find peace there.
You may never understand. Hell, I’m 33 and now just starting to understand that love is the end game. And my greatest goal in my own life is to love you and your sister so wholeheartedly that there is never any doubt in your mind, that wherever you go and wherever this beautiful life takes you, that you will always be “home.” The day when you leave this physical home we now share to find your own place in this world, I want you to know that you’ll always be “home,” you’ll always be this loved. Home isn’t and never will be a physical place. I need you to know that and I plan to help you. That is the greatest gift I can give you: the love and security to go out and fully live—to love life and all its possibilities, whatever you chose to do, whatever badass person you end up becoming. Near or far, I will be there too, loving you wholeheartedly.
I choose you— I’ll choose you every day.
I choose love— I’ll choose love every day.
I think there’s a reason many species are matriarchal in the animal kingdom—Mamas are freaking fierce. Many talk about the abnormal strength you get via adrenaline when we’re face-to-face with fierce physical obstacles—but we don’t talk about the abnormal strength you get via oxytocin, when faced with the emotional complexity and obstacles of love. Both hormones give you the means to protect—but one also gives you the reason to. And I (subjectively) think the reason to is a lot more powerful.
Love on, my little man. Thank you for your constant smiles and coos—and dimples that seriously melt my entire heart. As Charley would say after I ask her how much Mama loves her: “you love me THIS much” with her arms held out wide. To the moon and back, my sweet boy. Mama loves you THIS much.