To my oldest...I'm sorry.
So often you only get what's left of me at the end of the day.
You went from 4 years of being the absolute center of my universe, to 4 years of finding yourself so often placed on the back burner.
You went from nightly stories and being tucked in, to reading alone in your room, and falling asleep while waiting for me to wrangle your wild brother into bed until I can finally find a moment to tend to your wants and needs.
So many nights I only kiss you and cover you with blankets long after you've already drifted off.
In those moments, I hate myself.
I hate that I've stretched myself so thin that it takes time away from you.
I hate that we don't get quiet moments alone on the couch to snuggle without being interrupted by a little pouty face claiming he's being "left out".
I hate that you have to share your toys and snacks, and your favorite markers-bought especially for you.
I hate that I can't let you pick the stickers at Target because it will cause your baby brother to have an absolute meltdown.
I hate that I expect you to be a "big girl" every time life doesn't go your way.
I hate that you feel that life is so unfair.
You're right, baby...it is unfair to you right now.
It isn't fair that you've had to mature so quickly because I'm too busy asking you to help me all the time, instead of encouraging you to just be a kid.
But through it all, you show your gentle kindness. You soldier through the disappointment and put on a smile, all to help me with these difficult days.
You try in your own sweet ways to make my life easier, and I hope you know I see it.
You, my strong girl, are the epitome of my hopes and dreams. You're more than I ever imagined all those years ago as I rubbed my stomach and thought of the person I hoped you'd become.
I know you sometimes think I have a favorite, or that you just aren't loved as much, but my dear-that couldn't be farther from the truth. My heart holds just as much love for you as it does for your brother.
But let me tell you something about the love I have for you- it's a different kind of love. It's a special love I share only for you, my firstborn.
It's a proud love.
A love that tells me I will never have to worry about you out in this great big world.
A love that tells me I can always count on you to make the right decisions, and to be the bigger person in all situations.
It's a love that makes my heart swell when I watch you sweetly console your brother when he's hurt, or when you help him beat a new level of Roblox on the iPad.
You made me a mother, sweet girl. You gave me that title, you gave me that great responsibility. And through you, I'm learning how to be the best version of a mom I can be.
I hope you'll excuse the mistakes I'm making along the way, and that you'll forgive me every time I get it wrong.
But most of all, I hope you always know, my love for you could move mountains, and it absolutely would if you ever needed it to.