Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dear Oliver...

Dear Oliver, 

Next week we will welcome into the world your little brother. I know this will be a challenging, trying, exciting, new, scary, frustrating, happy, confusing time for all of us - but there are some secrets I want you you need to know.  And not to forget. 

You made me a "Mommy." 
Even though you like to call me "Julie" or "Mommy Porter" - you're the first person in the world to call me Mommy. That will never change. Ever. (Just don't tell your brother what my 'real' name is for a while, mmmmk?)

You've taught me what it means to love someone unconditionally. 
Only minutes after throwing a temper tantrum, you look into my eyes and say "I'm sorry, Mommy, I got mad." You melt my heart. You never really know how much your parents love you until you have a child of your own. It's difficult to put into words. 

You've taught me what fearlessness is. 
Touching an unknown animal (just not a worm), jumping into a pool, sliding down a fire pole. Bravery is something that fades as we age, and I just need a little boy like you to help show me the way. To not be afraid of new things, or of failure. 

You've made me laugh harder than I've ever thought possible.
Thank you for that. Each and every day you've made me laugh whether you've meant to or not. Whether it's riding Stella around the house, saying "winner, winner, chicken dinner!" or mastering your own fake laugh... they are the happiest sounds to hear in our house. 

We've learned (and are still learning) how to share. 
Sharing time, food, attention, pastimes, sleeping spaces, toys, screen time, stories, books, experiences. We share everything. And I love that.  (Although two minutes of an uninterrupted shower would be nice...)

You've taught me what observational honesty is. 
Just today, walking the dog - when Daddy asked if you wanted to go on his shoulders, you sat down and stated "I have to go poop. Poop is coming out of my bum right now."  Or last week when you asked if there was a baby in that man's belly at the grocery store. I will never, ever forget when we were running and you commented "Mommy, that big lady running slowly!" With time, you'll understand. But for now, I appreciate your pure, unbridled honesty. And I'll try my best to keep a straight face, but know that I'm cracking up inside. 

We've learned together. 
We've done the sleep training, breast feeding, tantrum calming, foot and mouth, ear infection, teething, croup, moving, allergy/sensitivity thing together. (There are still those yet-to-be-conquered items like the potty...) You helped me figure out what was right for us, at that given time. It might not be right again, and it might not have been what 'experts' suggested. So, thank you for letting me figure out my own kind of being a mom.

You've taught me to appreciate the little things. 
The 4:25 hug. The giggle let out when Stella licks you. Listening to Elmo all the way to work alone. Noticing the cement mixer ("no, it's not a cable repair truck!") parked across the street. The "wow Mommy! I love your beautiful haircut!" comment, even if Daddy did prompt bribe you. 

You've taught me how to prioritize. 
Is a donut for breakfast the worst thing that could possibly happen in this world? No.  Shoot, sometimes (when you go the whole night without a pacifier) it's an absolutely necessary reward.  Do I need to write back to this email at this exact moment or can it wait until I've rubbed your back and read you a bedtime story? 

You've taught me how to be a better teacher. 
I look at my students differently now. (Not that teachers without kids can't be amazing). I appreciate the faith that parents have in me because that's the faith I put in your daycare teachers every morning I leave you in their capable hands. You've taught me to do what I love, and to love what I do. Because you would rather read "100 Trucks" over another book and that's okay. That's your passion. 

Your little brother will look up to you, respect you, envy you, want to be you, copy you, annoy you, and love you. Every day of your lives. I hope you remember these 'secrets' and learn a fraction as much from him as I have from you. 

I love you, 


  1. So sweet Julie! Congrats on your new addition to the family!

    1. no idea why it says "Dr. H"... it should say michelle!!