Hi, Mr. Brian!

You’ve been really hard to parent this year! There are all kinds of behaviors that alarm and baffle me.

But more than that, you are delightful.

Even when you’re in trouble, there’s a sweetness in you and between us that makes me worry a lot less. You’re so generally full of joy and fun. You get excited about the funniest things, and any time they come up, your voice gets really high and excited and your eyes get really big, like you cannot possibly believe your good fortune that we even get to discuss it.

You’re over the moon about the pickle relish that we can put on Costco hot dogs. “Hey, Mom! Can we go to Costco and get a hot dog… with sweet relish?” (Those last two words double in volume and go up an octave.) What even is this, son? How do you get immeasurable joy from the idea that you might get two tablespoons of sweet relish on a Costco hot dog? I can do nothing but grin back in delight while my brain spins to see if this is something we can realistically do, because I love your enthusiasm and it makes me happy just to bask in it.

I went to a thrift store now fully two years ago and got you two fleece jammie sets. One has a monkey with a guitar on it, the other has a reindeer that looks like a moose which you decided is “a Moose named Shome” because when we went out to camp for a picnic a couple years ago, you got to ride a horse named Storm but you insisted it was a moose and you weren’t speaking really clearly, so now you have a reindeer named A Moose Named Shome on your jammies. Both sets have plaid pants. I think I spent $7 on the two sets.

You still thank me probably weekly for those jammies. They’re now fully two sizes too small, but every time you wear them or come upon them in your drawer, you look at me with a huge grin and all the sincerity and say, “Mom, thanks for buying me my jammies. I really love them.”

When we go out to the driveway, frequently you look over and tell Daddy, “Hey Dad? I really like your truck. It’s nice.”

Basically, you point out and name out loud and give thanks for everything you come across that sparks any joy and everything does. I hope you keep this. I hope the whole world is a delight to you forever and you share the delight with everyone around you for your entire life.

Bud, you’re growing up just as you should. We can deal with the befuddling parts of parenting. The joy of getting to live with you is more than worth it.

All photos are taken by Sarah Lewis.

Published by robininalaska

Robin Chapman is a part-time writer, editor, and birth photographer and a full-time imperfect mama, wife, Jesus follower, and normalizer of failure. She’s trying hard to learn how to do this motherhood thing in a way that doesn’t land the whole family in intensive therapy. She has a heart for helping other mamas buried in the little years with hope, humor, and solidarity. You can find her hiding out in the bathroom with an iced dirty chai, writing and editing and making spreadsheets for KindredMom.com where she is a cheerleader for mamas, or online looking for grace in her mundane and weird life. She lives in Fairbanks, Alaska with her four delightful (crazy) kids—some homeschooled, some public schooled, some too young for school at all—and her ridiculously good looking husband, Andrew.

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