to lane,

hey bubba.  i don't know if you know how much i love you, it's a crazy lot.  we are funny- you and i, you have these moments of absolute independence and not giving a shit whether i'm around and then these moments where it's just obsession.  most of the time, it's just chill between us.  but when you go- boy, you give me hell.  today you were screaming because i couldn't figure out that you wanted to eat COLD BUTTERNUT SQUASH for breakfast.  seriously who does that, i don't even do that.  i warmed it up and you threw the bowl and said "NO! NO!" all the while screaming.

with you my fears are different, i don't worry about you so much.  you seem natural at life, in a way that most people in their forties still aren't.  when you were born it was as if you looked around and said "oh this again?"  you take everything in stride, thumb in your mouth, eyes open.  i remember when you were born, your little half whine - you didn't really even cry, you were just grumpy as shit, the corners of your mouth turned down.  up until the last second i kept telling jim, "what if they got it wrong, what if its actually a girl?!" sorry buddy.

i hope your joie de vivre takes you far in life.  i hope you know when it counts to stand up for yourself.  i hope you know that your smile will get you far, but your ingenuity and determination to make things work will get your farther.  i hope the estrogen doesn't overrun you in this house, i apologize in advance for when your sister is a teenager.  i hope you take it easy on me somewhat in your teenage years, try to reign it in more than your dad did please.  i hope you understand the significance of being a man raised by a woman.  i hope you know the fear i conquer in being your mom, in taking my stance on raising a boy.  i hope you know that if i seem absentminded, it's just because i have so much confidence in you.

i know what you will know.  you'll know that no means no, that a lack of response doesn't mean yes.  you'll know how to protect your sister.  you'll know that life doesn't come with a warranty and you will value it in every form, including and especially those weaker than you.  you'll know how to take care of yourself.  you'll know that i love you no matter what you do, who you love, or where you go.  you'll know that i'll always have your back, even when you're taller than me, which at this rate, is probably going to be third grade.  you will know your limits, and they will be firm.  you'll know how to show love.

bubba, you are a joy.  and your flirting game is already really strong buddy, lay low on it for a while- i don't want to be a grandma for a long time.

i love you forever to the moon,

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