In 4 days my triplets will turn 4 years old. This milestone, to say the least, is bittersweet for me. While I am excited at what new adventures three 4-year-olds may bring, I am also mourning the loss of my babies.
Dear Jase, Henley, and Sadie:
In the last remaining days before you turn 4, I want to share with you what I am feeling in my heart as I say goodbye to my 3 years olds and welcome you to your new stage in life. I realize that you don’t understand right now why Mommy is so sentimental about you turning a year older. It’s an exciting time for you, I know. For Mommy, though, watching you grow older is strangely hard and hurts my heart just a bit.
I will never get back a single moment of you as infants. Those hurried and panicked days in the NICU when I was just learning who you are, will never be again.
I will never get back that first year with you. Those days and nights, holding you on my chest just so that we all could get a bit more sleep. I knew then that those moments were fleeting. What I didn’t know is just how much I would miss it.
I will never get back your second year, either. Those days where you were becoming more independent but still needed me more often than not, are gone.
I will never get back our third year together. Those days when we finally had it together just to realize that, well, maybe not so much, are ending.
In the last remaining days before you turn 4, I want to apologize for the silly things I may do.
I am trying in vain to get in every ounce of my 3-year-olds that I can.
Last night before bed you let me cradle you in my arms for what seemed like an hour. Your legs draped over my lap, almost reaching the floor. Your fingers, intertwined with mine, reminded me of the first day we met.
Those fingers are what I first noticed about you. They were so familiar to me because they looked just like your dad’s – so long and strong. I gave you extra hugs and kisses last night because I know there will be a day you don’t want them. You didn’t mind. You are Mommy’s boy at night, after all. Cuddling up next to me while you fall asleep each night is something you crave and I more than appreciate.
Last night as you tiptoed into our room and climbed into our bed (as you do every night) I made sure to pull you close to me. You kissed me in your half asleep haze and told me you loved me. I thought of the first time I held you.
You were so tiny and so fragile. I was frozen with fear that if I made too much movement you would become stressed and you would need to be put back in your isolette. All I did for an hour was hold you as close as I possibly could, kiss your sweet face, and tell you that I loved you over and over again. I often wonder if that’s the reason you constantly remind me that I am loved too.
Last night, while you were soundly sleeping, I tiptoed into your room and gently laid beside you in your bed. I nuzzled my cheek next to yours and just listened to you – your breathing, your heartbeat. It’s a rare occasion that you are quiet – you even talk in your sleep. I wanted to take full advantage of the somewhat silence.
I remember when I thought you would never speak – worried that something may be wrong. I may be eating my words now, but know that I love that you are who you are – outgoing, dynamic, always wanting to be the center of attention. You are the complete opposite of me and I am in awe of you.
I’m watching each of you more closely in the last remaining days before you turn four.
I see you starting to pull away from me just a bit – interacting more with others outside our little family. My heart skips a beat when you come racing toward me when I pick you up from preschool. Those others you interact with still take 2nd place to me.
The three of you are no longer my babies. I am trying my hardest to be alright with the fact that you aren’t even toddlers anymore. I’m not okay with how quickly time has passed, but I do appreciate this new phase of life we are in and learning more about who you are.
I love watching you work hard to complete that creation (that’s what you call a craft), Sadie. Who knew that you would be a little artist?
I love watching you do brave things like want to swing higher and higher, Henley. Who knew a tiny girl like you would be able to keep up with the bigger kids?
I love watching you pretend to be a ninja, Jase. Or should I call you Leonardo? Who knew that you would spend your days fighting crime as a teenage turtle?
I want you to know that in the last remaining days before you turn four, I am thankful.
I am thankful that all three of you are here, alive and well, healthy and strong; that you are smart and kind, brave and bold, caring and confident.
I am thankful for you and the fact that I am able to watch the calendar turn as you go from 3 to 4 years old.
Part of me will always see you as those tiny 2-pound babies in the NICU. For that reason alone, I will always call you my babies, even though you hate it even now. Many of my memories of you will fade but know that they will always be in my heart.
My love for you Jase, Henley, and Sadie is more than any single word could describe. Happy 4th year, my loves.