You came on a soft, snowy day in December, just like I always imagined. What I didn’t imagine was how long you’d take to get here. Oh boy, you took your time! Fourteen hours and one epidural later, you finally made your appearance eight days before your due date. You were wide awake when you came out, and you never did like sleep very much. I was in a constant delirious state of exhaustion and joy your first year of life. I spent most of my days on the couch ... and you spent most of your's on my chest.
For some reason, you decided to stay on a liquid-only diet. You still don’t like most food, so we make smoothies every day filled with everything but the kitchen sink. Sometimes you smile and say, “I want to stop growing so I can be your little boy forever!” My heart aches when I hear that.
You grew into a happy, curious, smart little boy. You learned things very fast, and knew all your letters, numbers and colors by age 2. You were potty trained and never once had an accident (something I didn’t know was unheard of) by age 2 1/2, and were sounding out words by age 3. You take your time on some things, but when you set your mind to do them, you do them right the first time.
Now, at age 4 you are getting bigger and smarter every day. You love cars. Cars as in Lightning McQueen, but also any kind of car. You are the sweetest little boy. You are never cruel. As the oldest boy, you are an amazing example to your brothers. You accepted and welcomed each addition with love, enthusiasm and excitement. You often tell me you want “10 kids!” in our family.
You have taught me long-suffering, the joy of curiosity and patience.
You have my heart.
I had only been a mommy for 13 months when I found out I was expecting you! I was shocked and thrilled. I knew you were coming even before I took the test. I could feel your little spirit close to me — even though I thought you were a girl. You came on a blustery, stormy morning in October. I had you all natural, and it was the hardest, best moment of my life. The second I pulled you out and held you to my chest, I fell in love. You were calm. You were easy. You liked food! You still do, and will eat almost anything I make.
You have the most beautiful, crystal-clear blue eyes and curly hair. I love taking pictures of you. You bring so much life, joy and energy to our family. Your best friend is Boston, and you love to follow him around and do everything he is doing. You are one tough little guy, too — even for someone who barely registers on the charts!
You have taught me to be silly, to laugh, to cherish “doing nothing,” when really, I’m doing the thing that makes me want to cry and smile at the same time — and that’s holding you.
I adore you.
My third little musketeer! We almost named you “Valentino” because you, my love, were born 2 1/2 weeks early — on Valentine's Day. People sometimes ask me how I’m doing with three boys under 4, and besides going a little crazy at times (and wearing my shirt inside-out) I couldn’t be happier to have you. You are happy too, and always have been. You smiled the day you were born. I know people say you can't do that, but after you got some tests done, the nurse brought you back into my room and right before she handed you to me, you looked right at her and smiled. She said she has never seen that before.
Today, you laughed! You seem too young to be doing that, too, but it was the sweetest sound I've ever heard. I grabbed my phone and was able to get it on camera. I sent it to Daddy, and he was so amazed. He loves you and your brothers almost as much as I do (wink wink).
You have taught me to slow down, to focus on that which matters most (my little men, of course). You have taught me to not only love you unconditionally, but to love myself the same. You have brought me down to reality, and lifted my spirits up to heaven. Oh, and you are by far my very best sleeper! I owe what’s left of my sanity to your sleeping between seven and nine consecutive hours EVERY NIGHT.
Bless you, child. I am in love with you!
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My little boys are my everything. I feel like a princess — the queen of my castle with my knights in shining armor taking care of and protecting me. Do you know how much I love you? How I would do anything — anything — for you? How my heart aches when I can’t be it all, do it all, or give you all, all the time? I sometimes sneak into your rooms at night and stare at your perfect, porcelain faces as you dream. I sometimes wonder how my sweet mother did it. How did she send us out into the world to find our way? How did she let us go, trusting we’d make right decisions, yet being there every time we fell? How did she create such an undeniable feeling of love, peace and comfort in our home? Just seeing her made me feel like all was right in the world.
I want to be that for you.
I want you to know that I am in awe of our Heavenly Father for entrusting you to me. I am honored, ecstatic and humbled to be called “Mother” — your mother. I want you to know that this role, this most important calling, this title, will never be taken away from me. It will never lose its reverent meaning. I will forever be your mother. And that’s all I want, for now, for eternity.
Happy Mother’s Day to you, my sons, for letting me be yours.
Carmen Rasmusen Herbert is a former "American Idol" contestant who writes about entertainment and family for the Deseret News.