I know the importance of modeling behavior for my children. I try to emphasize values like environmentalism and minimalism by taking once-a-week showers and wearing the same pants for extended periods of time. In an effort to underscore the importance of self-reflection and apologies, here is a letter to my younger children.
Kids, I’m sorry. I’m sorry your older brother took all the good parent juice out of me. Middle Son, when you escaped from the house last week and ended up past our cul-de-sac on our neighborhood’s main drive, I’m sorry for staring blankly at the neighbor who frantically drove up to let me know. The fact is I couldn’t muster the energy to do more than shrug and smile weakly as I collected you from the kind strangers shepherding you home. That energy was spent before you were born.
Third anonymous Baby Girl still cooking in the womb, I’m sorry we don’t have a name for you. My brain cells are working overtime every day attempting to translate the mumbles of your 2-year-old brother and help your 4-year-old brother understand that the Mickey Mouse Band-Aids are the same as the Thomas the Train Band-Aids. And no, they won’t make his leg fall off if we put one on.
I’m sorry you will likely not get homemade organic baby food. After all my hours spent peeling, steaming and mashing, your brothers have grown to prefer old Cheetos off the ground over my cooking. Yours is a future of store-brand goodness in a jar.
I’m sorry there’s a 100 percent chance there will be no picture of you in our home until your first birthday.
Just know that you are loved. And that you have two older brothers who can’t wait to meet you, and will be infinitely jealous of how much candy you’ll get to eat and how much TV you’ll get to watch.
Carrie Taylor is a freelance writer, editor and mother of two boys.