There were so many wake-ups last night. Rosie, for example. Five times? And the day, it starts by 6 am. Kendra takes the bulk of night interruptions, so I take the early shift in the morning. I’ll zombie around the kitchen making breakfasts, while Kendra catches up on any extra sleep in the minutes that might be available before the school train departs.
When Kendra joined us this morning, she said, “I wrote our kids an email.”
(Yes, our kids have their own email addresses. They don’t know about them yet, but we have them for when they’re needed for sign-ups — and for now, mostly so we can send them letters they’ll receive once their email-aged.)
She passed her phone to me to read.
“My kids. As I write this, Addie is 8, Ben is 6, Theo is 3, and Rosie is 1.5.
You guys are a delight!!
Your dad and I get tired, it’s true.
But I wish you knew how often (after you’re in bed!) that your dad and I look and each other and with wonder declare: “Our kids are so cool!”
We love you guys.
We like you guys!
Addie: You love people. You have always been kind and open, and even though you love sports and games, you care more that people aren’t hurt or left out. It’s a beautiful trait for a beautiful girl.
Ben: You are so independent and an initiator! You have so many ideas, and you move right away to get it done! This will serve you well in life: not just the creative ideas, but the energy to complete them.
Theo: You have a magnetic personality. Your desire to perform and your rhythm and gift for music is truly incredible. You could dance all day long and people would stare at your coordinated moves and your beautiful smile.
Rosie: You’re small, but so determined!!! You will climb that cushion mountain, you will dance your heart out with your siblings, and will make the Duplo fit together!
I cannot wait to see what lies ahead for each of you, and yet I cherish these moments when you’re all still relatively small, and we all fit in the living room and nightly dance parties are a thing we can all enjoy together. This is precious time.
You are precious. And loved.
After getting woken up a billion times in one night, there are many ways Kendra could respond to the world. She could stumble downstairs like a zombie, like I do. She could mumble silent curse words at the kids (“mother’s efforts” is my go-to). Or, she could spend time reflecting on what makes her family amazing, and take the minutes to encourage them with an email that won’t be read for another decade.
I passed the phone back to Kendra with a couple tears blinking in my eyes.
As they say, “Shut up, I’m not crying. You’re crying.”