Dear Little Bear,

Four years ago, you changed our lives forever. In September of 2013, we became first-time parents and I soon learned that I had no idea what we were in for. Being a parent is by far the hardest thing I have ever had to do. As we prepare to celebrate your life I cannot let this time of year go by without reflection.

You are my love. The second you came into this world, eyes wide open, you became a love that I can only describe as the type that you experience the first time you fall in love. I love you with a passion and a flame that you will never know exists until you have your own children.

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You are my biggest challenge. Every day you challenge and change me into a better person. Better for you, for your brother, for your dad and for myself. I have had to learn to explain my point of view thoroughly, be patient when I have no patience left, negotiate in a way that leaves no loopholes and speak kindly when yelling would feel so much better.

You are my why. I want to leave the world a better place for you. I want to raise you into the type of person that makes the world a better place. My oldest son, it is not enough that we merely exist, do our jobs and raise our families. No. We must make a conscious effort to improve our communities for everyone. Being your parent as allowed me to understand the importance of that responsibility.

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You are my firecracker. There is not a day that goes by that you don’t question authority. You are not the type of child that dutifully follows directions. Regardless of how much heartache and trouble that may cause, I pray that you keep that fighting spirit and use it to make the world a better place. Find your passion, your cause, and be a change agent.

You are my kind-hearted boy. I pay attention when you hold your umbrella over your friends as we leave daycare. I appreciate when you rub your brothers head gently and say “Cub, it will be ok.” when he is crying. I hear the wisdom beyond your years when you hold my face and tell me you are proud of me.

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You are my son. I am your mother. Those two sentences do not convey the magnitude of our bond. Keep lighting the world on fire, kid. Question what should be questioned. Push where pushing needs to happen. Continue to challenge those around you to raise their arguments because your questions and logic are unparalleled. Listen to those who need an ear. Speak for those who need a voice. Hold doors open. Speak kindly. Love hard. Never stop chasing your dreams!

Happy 4th Birthday, Little Bear!

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Yolanda Jenkins is a wife, mother of 2, and an introverted leader. She can sometimes be found sharing the good, the bad and the ugly on IG @thislibralife.

 

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