Baby number four is a special kind of child. They have to be, I think.
And what a lucky guy you are to have this spot in our family.
For one thing, your Daddy and I are getting better at recognizing which things to focus on and which things to let go. You've been getting up in the night a bit lately, but all you need is a cuddle and a song to fall back to sleep. Experience and time have taught me not to worry so much about the possibility of me needing to cuddle you to sleep in college. I'm pretty sure your waking up is simply a phase that will last for a short amount of time. Of course, I don't know that for sure, but I won't worry about it until I see the pattern getting rooted deep in you. Tonight we'll cuddle.
For another thing, you have a house absolutely full to the brim of noise and laughter and I can see how much you love it. Not many kids get that these days, you know. I would probably need both hands to count the number of times a stranger has said in response to you being baby number four, "Wow... you don't see many big families anymore these days." But you are part of one of the remaining few. Your smile is never bigger than when you're being circled by little running feet. I'm happy for you in this.
The older kids argue over who gets to play with you. Who gets to get you from your crib. Who gets to feed you your bottle. Who gets to sing you to sleep. Several times a day I say, “It’s my turn. Why don’t you empty the dishwasher while I sit and cuddle the baby.” Thankfully your big siblings are wonderful and obedient… in this way I treasure and cherish those moments of holding and rocking even more than I did in earlier years when the cuddling and holding was easier to come by.
Of course, there are trade offs to everything in life and I feel sorry sometimes that I don't get to give you the type of undivided attention that some of your other siblings received. But, Timothy, please know that I believe that Heavenly Father loves you just as much as he loves me. And that he must know of the time constraints placed on mothers of multiples and so organizes personalities into families in a carefully crafted way to help offset any negative effects. And, of course, I hope you will always know how much I love you.
You have added a flavor into this house that I cannot believe we were happy without (and we were). We laugh more. We sing more. We play and goof and encourage more. We even love more.
You. are. Perfect.
You smile and laugh. You play and remind us to be happy with each other. I’m not sure how you do it, actually. But you do. You seem to have an aura of love surrounding you, and anyone who comes into your space cannot help but feel it and want to emulate it, too.
We laugh when you eat your toes. We laugh when you smack your fists. We laugh when you roll and we even laugh when you smell terrible. We laugh at your goopy eyes and we laugh, most heartedly, at your laugh. We laugh when you splash in the tub. We laugh when you squeal in the grocery store. We laugh when you burp and we laugh when your lunch erupts back onto the floor. We laugh when you drop your carrots and we laugh and clap when you swallow them, too. We laugh when you clench your blankets up to your face just before falling asleep. We laugh when you eat your books. We laugh when you stick your feet into the sand and we laugh when you wear a new outfit. We laugh. We laugh. We laugh.