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When my son turned 11 a few months ago, I decided to write him a love letter.  It seemed to be a pivotal time for him. He was going through some growing pains and his self-confidence and self-worth seemed a bit shaky. I wanted to have a written record of my commitment to him and my unconditional love for him.  I also wanted him to know I am proud of him – not because of what he’s done but because of who he is and all that unique and wonderful qualities that he possesses.  It had such an impact on him that I decided to do the same for my youngest son who turns 10 today.

Both letters are below.

 A Love Letter To My Baby Boy – May 9th, 2013

Dear Willis,

My sweet baby boy, you have been such a joy in my life. You came into the world a little bit earlier than I was ready for. I should have known then that you would be the kind of child that moves according to your schedule and not mine.

But you were such a quiet, happy baby … always so content to just be held and loved and cared for. You never cried, just called out patiently when you needed me and you slept through the night from day one. Just a dream baby. I think you knew your mama was already tired from running around after your feisty toddler brother and I so appreciated you for it.

Now that you are older and coming into your own, you are not so quiet! But you are even more loveable every day. You are growing out of being a baby but I love that you will always be my baby and will still come look for me at times when you need a cuddle.  You are just the right mix of independence and sweetness and I can’t wait to see the young man you grow up to be.

I love how much patience you have when Tyler tries to “big brother” you.  I love that you are always willing to help. I especially love that you are willing to stand up for yourself and others when you know something isn’t right.

I just wanted you to know how much I love you on this day – May 9th, 2013 – your 10th birthday. You are my 2nd child, but loved equally and infinitely. Some people think that a mom can’t love their children equally, but you have proven to me beyond doubt that love doesn’t divide but it expands and cannot be diminished. There is something so special inside of you. I can’t wait for the world to get to know you like I have.

There will never be an end to my love for you, baby boy. Keep smiling and laughing … you bring me pure joy!

A Love Letter To My Oldest Son – November 12th, 2012

Dear Tyler,

When God gave you to me, He knew I would need you. You taught me so much about love and life in your first year – it was amazing. When your brother finally came along, you were so happy to finally be a big brother. You held him and read to him and couldn’t wait to teach him everything you knew. Now that you are older, you don’t always get along, but I know you still love him. You have always been an amazing brother.

And an amazing son.

You fill my days with chatter and questions I never knew an 10-year old would ask…but then again, you’ve always been smarter than you should be. You challenge me in so many ways and you teach me about things I never knew I’d be interested in. You dive into your school work and you soak it all in like a sponge. And I love to see the way that you light up when you learn something new and interesting.

I’m a little nervous (in a good way) now that you are 11. I think the questions get harder.

This year, you may grow to be taller than me. I didn’t know that would happen so soon. I have such mixed feelings about the young man you are becoming. I am so proud of you for being smart and loving and courageous. But I’m not ready for you to be so grown up already. I still see you as a little boy with chubby legs, chipmunk cheeks and your arms always open to give a hug.

I just wanted you to know how much I love you on this day – November 5th, 2012 – your 11th birthday. My world is so much better because you are here. I can’t imagine my life without you being a part of it. Thank you for being an amazing son. Thank you for helping me so much around the house and with your brother.

It’s hard to be the oldest child. I know I have learned a lot raising you and I know I will continue to learn. You still have so much to teach me about being a good parent. Thank you for being patient with me and for accepting my apologies with grace when I haven’t been patient with you.

You are incredible. Never forget that. And never forget that I am always here when you need me. I can’t tell you how much of my heart you fill, but I can tell you I would be empty without you. You truly are the best part of me and I love you dearly.

A Love Letter to My Sons  was originally published on