My sweet child, I often wondered in our early days together how one tiny person could have so much bigness dwelling inside them. Your will was set from day one as you fought the nurses with more strength than any 7-pound human with unused muscles ever should have possessed. Your cry was big and demanded a response.
Your appetite was big as you insisted on nursing every hour-and-a-half . . . day and night. Your pediatrician only smiled gently as I lamented your hatred of sleep, your refusal to be set down, and your persistence in screaming until your need was met. “Some babies are just more difficult,” he said, “but there’s nothing wrong with him.”
You carried your “difficult” title right on into the toddler years, and your bigness came through in explosive tantrums. We felt the judgemental eyes of everyone around us as we hauled your tiny frame back to the car kicking, screaming, and thrashing.
“How could so much bigness dwell in a tiny body?” I would ask myself again.
The strength you exhibited as a feisty newborn now marked itself in a wild and endless energy. “Wow, he is just so busy,” a nurse would comment at your one-year appointment as you toddled around the room in a constant state of motion. If I had a dollar for all the times someone commented saying, “He is so active,” “Where does he get all his energy?” or my favorite, “I’m exhausted just watching him,” I would have enough to actually afford the amount of coffee it takes to keep up with you.
As the other moms got to sit down at playdates and talk to each other, I knew better than to ever sit down or let my eyes wander away from your busy little body. Because you do everything big. And when someone takes your toy or destroys your highly organized game you will respond big.
I must admit there were times I wished away your bigness. What would it be like to not have to deal with the tantrums, the intensity, the fiery will? Can you imagine how peaceful it would be to have a compliant and calm child? Perhaps then I would avoid the raised eyebrows and shaking heads of strangers over my child’s big behavior.
Now we are entering the preschool years. And my goodness, the bigness only gets bigger as you do. But now, I begin to see it in a different light. I see your fierce determination as you refuse to give up learning a new skill or completing a difficult task. I see your energy used in incredibly helpful ways as you eagerly ask what I need and zoom around the house to assist with little chores and errands. I see your zealous passion as you bravely march up to a bee and tell it to stay far away from your baby sister.
And most of all I see your huge heart.
Because as you do everything else, you love so, so big. Your kindness and thoughtfulness are remarkable for so little a person.
Your doctor meant more than just physically when he said nothing was wrong with you. Your bigness is not a problem to be solved or a behavior to be controlled. Your bigness is an absolute gift. And one the world needs so much more of. Your determination, persistence, passion, strength, will, and heart are going to change this dark world. Because you, my son, are created to do really big things.