Here is the letter I recently wrote to one of my boys.

Dear Griffin,

You’re my oldest, and as you grow, I admire your strength. I admire the way you face obstacles in life, but they don’t hold you back.

I love to quietly observe your gentle ways. Sure, you and your brother have your moments, just like any other set of siblings, but I never want to lose sight of the things about you I love the most. Last week, you asked me to lay down with you, something you never ask. As I put my arm around you and listened to you breathe, I remembered how lucky I am to have you for my son.

Lucky because you told your younger brother to “come sit on my lap and I’ll take care of you,” when he bumped his head on the table at Max & Erma’s.

Lucky because you always offer to rub my temples when Mommy says she has a headache.

Lucky because you ran to grab a band-aid from the bathroom when I said I cut myself in the kitchen.

Lucky because on a day I wore my hair differently, I tucked you in and walked away, only to hear you say, “And Mom? I like your hair like that.

Lucky because you always tell your brother to go first when we discuss the “Favorite parts of our day” at the dinner table.

Lucky because you admire babies as much as I do, saying “Awwwwww” when you see a little one in their stroller.

Lucky because you realized the new girl in your class would need a friend, so you asked her to sit with you at lunch.

And finally, lucky because you always offer me a bite of your ice cream sundae, knowing I won’t order one for myself.

These are the traits I hope you always carry with you. May you always be thoughtful, always be the one to put others first, and always have a smile that could tell a million stories. I’m proud of you, Griffin.

And lucky.

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