You on your first day of Pre-K (Jan 3rd, 2018):
I haven’t written you near enough letters, and it’s time I get a new one on here for you. I just dropped you off at your first day of pre-k. It’s three days a week for 3 hours each day. You’re going to do it from Jan-May as a little warm up for Kindergarten and to get used to being away from me. After I signed you up and you saw your classroom, you have been nothing but excited. Today as I got you ready and we were about to load up and leave, I could see your nervousness really set in. You asked who your teacher was going to be. I told you that we were both going to get to meet her when we got there and you said “but it’s scary.” You seemed okay in the car but as we walked up to the classroom you begin to lose it as soon as you saw the teacher and the other kids. It took all I had to keep it together. I knew prolonging it would just make it worse so I gave you a huge hug and let her take you on into the class while you were crying. I was able to get down hall before the tears started for myself and then really lost it when I got into the car. Dads don’t quite understand why it’s so emotionally hard for moms when their children start school. In general, Dads are used to leaving every morning and coming home to their kids in the evening. Being away from them is what they’re used to. For a stay-at-home mom though, I’ve been with you constantly since you were born. Through the good, bad, and ugly we’ve grown together and I know each of you on a deeper level than any other human being. I know what sets you off, what makes you happy, what you get excited about, what you get sad about, and everything in between. We’ve endured difficult days together and we’ve enjoyed days full of joy and laughter. When you walk out of the house for the first time for something like this, it’s a big change. The kid I’ve been with all day most every day, begins to have experiences and begins dealing with emotions on their own, in a completely different setting. For you, everything you’ve ever known changes a bit.
The truth is, you have been one of my greatest joys, and also one of my greatest trials these past 5 years. You came into our world with a bang. Literally, a bang. Being the genius I am and standing on top of a bar stool to put stuff away, falling off, and meeting you hours later was one of the most chaotic/scary experiences of my life. The first 6 months of your life were mostly a breeze even though a lot happened in those 6 months. We put our house on the market when you were 1 month old, went under contract a week later, and packed up everything we had a moved when you were two months old. We moved in with Nona and Papa for 3 months while we found a new house and renovated it. Shortly before you were 6 months old we moved into our house and began to settle in there. After you turned 6 months old things changed quickly with you. You started getting really fussy and started having constant issues with a really bad diaper rash that we just couldn’t get rid of. Like flipping a light switch you went from an extremely happy-go-lucky, easy, baby to an extremely fussy/clingy little guy. After you were able to talk you would tell me a lot that your stomach hurt which would be followed by diarrhea, and I know that the issues with the eczema on your rear, your stomach hurting, and whatever other intestinal issues/ sensitivity issues you were having were the cause of your fussiness. At the time though, I had no idea what happened, why you were so fussy, and I was just surviving each day. You were wrongly diagnosed with a yeast infection in your diaper area and we battled trying to get it to go away for months before I gave up on your pediatrician and went and saw a pediatric dermatologist. After having battled raw sores on your rear for MONTHS, he diagnosed you immediately with contact dermatitis. Basically your constant digestive issues/ diarrhea was inflaming the skin on your bottom, and the raw skin on your bottom was being further inflamed by a sensitivity from something in the diapers causing eczema down there. I started cloth diapering you right away and that helped A LOT with the rash. Cleared it up almost right away. You still battled diarrhea though and it would still make a rash on your rear flair up whenever you pooped even if I changed you immediately. After seeing another specialist about your digestive issues, and running a lot of tests, he really wasn’t sure what was causing your issues and recommended you be scoped to investigate further. I REALLY didn’t want to have to do that so I tried a few other things first. I cut out all dairy for you and me (you nursed until you were about 17 months old) and I put you on probiotics. When you were about 18 months old, things started looking up. You were still a moody kid, but in-between your frustrations, you were happy, you were sweet, and you were cuddly instead of just fussy ALL. DAY. LONG. For about a year there (from 6-18months), you lived in the Ergo/ktan and if I put you down pretty much at all, you would just scream and cry. I remember being so touched out by the end of the day from having a moody miserable kid attached to me, that I couldn’t hardly bear even hugging dad when he got home. Once you were down for the night I didn’t want another single person touching me until I had to start it all over the next day. I remember feeling like I had to save up everything I had to be able to make it through the next day with you with patience. Between 18 and 24 months you changed a lot though. You have always had a quick temper and gotten frustrated very easily, but I could finally start to see your sweet personality come out.
Just for fun … some examples of little things that would set you off for seemingly no reason:
Even now, as an almost 5 year old, you still get frustrated very easily. You’ll ask the same question over and over again even when I repeatedly give you the same answer, and still sometimes lose it over nothing. Honestly though, you are also one of the sweetest kids I have ever met. You are thoughtful, you care when other people feel sad, you want to do things to make other people feel happy (like picking me flowers and giving your siblings things when they’re upset), and you naturally just have a lot of empathy for others. On top of all those traits, you are a ridiculously adorable kid. Seriously, those dimples and eyes can leave almost anyone smitten. You can be really shy around others but once you get comfortable with people will really begin to open up.
We all have areas of our life where things come natural to us. We also all have areas of our life where we have to work hard to be who we want to be, and it’s more of a process. As person who constantly self-examines, I know my own weaknesses very well and I have plenty of them to go around. I know where I fail, I know where I want to do better, and it’s easy to see those traits in you guys too. It’s easy to look and Kinsley and see that it’s going to be hard for her to be sympathetic to others, it’s going to be hard for her to not want to be the center of attention, and it’s hard for her to think of others, especially before herself. Being a leader comes naturally to her though, she makes friends easily, she’s confident, and she’s constantly happy. You’re more emotional. You need more physical touch and attention from people you love, but don’t need to be the center of attention, instead you get shy if you are put on the spot. You are going to battle with getting easily frustrated and going to have to learn to control your temper. On the positive you are also always going to be a thoughtful person, empathetic to the feelings of others, tender, thankful for what others do for you, and have a desire to make other people feel special and loved. You naturally have a heart of gold and I love that about you. Hopefully though the years we’ll be able to tone down your weaknesses and really bring out your strengths. I don’t want to fail you, Easton Ryan, I love you too much. Some days I do feel like I am failing you though. It’s not an excuse, but you can often be a difficult child to be patient with, and I feel like I fail way too much in getting irritated with you and losing my patience. It’s not just with you though, I don’t have the patience in general with any of you kiddos that I want to have. This stage in life can be exhausting and never-ending, it tends to wear on you and often times mine and dad’s worst traits come out instead of our best. We aren’t perfect either, no one is. I’m constantly working at it though, and hopefully I’ll be able to better my own parenting weaknesses through the years while also helping you learn to deal with yours.
As a child and young adult I never really worried or fretted much, I was more of a care-free personality. As I’ve gotten older I’ve done a whole lot more worrying and fretting. I really think it’s because I have so much more to lose these days. The stakes are so much higher when you have little souls to worry about and care for. The thought of something happening to one of you guys is one of my greatest fears and I’m equally fearful that I’m going to fail at teaching you all to have the proper fear, reverence, and love for the Lord so that we’ll all be in Heaven together someday. I look at our family and I know we are so incredibly blessed and I pray constantly that the Lord will keep us safe and healthy, and that we’ll always have the proper heart to follow Him faithfully. I couldn’t have asked for a better husband to get to make my way through life with and I’m so thankful for each of your individual personalities that we get to watch grow and develop. Through the chaos of the past two years after Cason was born, I have lost sight of holding on to and enjoying this stage of life. I switched from trying to soak in every moment to wishing time to speed up, so I could catch my breath. As we get closer and closer to you starting Kindergarten, I feel an intense sadness though. My time with you home all day with me is almost up and it will be much more limited during the school year. You are about to move on into another stage of life and while it’s exciting and fun to see you grow, it’s also sad knowing you will be leaving this stage in life forever in the past when you start Kindergarten this coming August. You have no idea how much I love you, kid. I love watching you grow into the incredible little person you are.
I’ll love you always,