A few weeks ago, I found the perfect t-shirt for you, bright red and emblazoned with a huge exclamation point. I brought it home, and every time I put it on you, it brings a smile to my face.
You are, simply put, the exclamation point in our little family.
Today you turn two years old, which feels impossible. You are closer to sleeping in a big boy bed and potty training than you are to the days of nursing and sleeping swaddled tightly like a little burrito. You still sleep with those soft swaddling blankets, and if I have my way, you will still snuggle into those for years to come. I’m just not quite ready for you to grow up yet.
Sullivan, you are so full of joy. Everywhere we go, people stop to talk to you and fawn over you. You soak up all that attention, thrive on it. Everyone is your best friend. You are quick to give high fives, knucks, hugs, and kisses. You are, by far, our most outgoing little one. Years ago, before I had kids, I thought a lot about being a mother. I kept a notebook with a running list of names I loved. I created character-children in my imagination. I wondered if they would have daddy’s blue eyes or my brown eyes, and I imagined what their personalities would be like. Would they be more serious and stoic like daddy? Would they be introverted or extroverted? Would they have a flair for drama? Would they be leaders or followers, athletic or smart, or all of the above? Over the past 12 years of parenting, I’ve learned that people can’t possibly fit in a little box of categories I established in my mind long before God ever made me a mother. You, your brothers, and your sister are so much more complicated than that. You are all so special, and so very different. It amazes me that four kids could come from the same two parents but be so different. But at the same time, it doesn’t surprise me at all because the God that spoke you into being is creative. You are all unique, just like the sunset He paints each night in the sky.
I see now that I painted a very narrow-minded picture of my future children. But I also realized recently that you embody so many of the things I imagined. I imagined a little one so full of life that people couldn’t help but smile every time he was around. I pictured someone who was affectionate and sweet, but equally as spunky and feisty. I pictured a child who would dance with abandon, no matter the place or the audience. I could almost see his blue eyes (just like daddy) and his blonde hair (just like mine…well, how mine used to be at least.)
Sully, I couldn’t possibly put into words how special you are, or how much we all love you. You have five of the biggest fans a person could ever have. You are so lucky.
And we are even luckier to be yours. I thank God daily that He saw our family and knew we needed an exclamation point at the end.
I love you,