This Mother's Day, I want you to know that I am so proud of you, as I think you're turning out to be a great Mum.
Sure, you have your days, when patience is non-existent and frankly, you're a bit mean to the Reds. But you try, Belly, and that matters. You are quick to recognize when you're being unfair and impatient, and you haven't actually tossed a leprechaun out the window.
You've changed, since becoming a Mum, Belly. For the better. Since Matthew, finally, someone's else's needs come before your own and you know absolutely what it is to love another person without condition. You are wise in ways you'd never realized before the Reds - slower to judge, quicker to hug.
You are vulnerable in ways you'd never imagined and Belly, that softness makes you beautiful.
Since Luke, you've learned what it is to have your body not belong entirely to you, for minutes, days, months at a time. Be proud of yourself, for you've overcome some dark hurdles to snuggle that boy to your breast and grow him into the chortling little tank that he is. When you feel his soft breath on your skin, allow yourself to feel pliant and good and more like a woman than you've ever felt in your whole life.
Your boys are delightful, Belly. They are funny and lively and are the very best of you and Mark, rolled in Red. They show you every day who you really are - growly faces and all. No, it's not always nice, seeing your own temper flare in your son's face. But it's humbling and real and your honesty about what you're seeing makes you a good Mum. Remember that when you want to pitch yourself out the window.
Matthew starts kindergarten this year, Belly. I know that every day, a part of you weeps for the loss of him, your very heart. But you bravely carry on, vowing to make every moment with him matter and that is your gift to him...and to yourself.
Luke, fierce, darling Luke, your very soul - he will always be your baby even as his impish face grows into BOY and that he loves his brother so, is because of you.
For every hug encouraged, every reminder that "brothers are built-in best friends" they have bonded and are stronger for each other. You gave them the gift of that special sibling relationship, so be happy.
Blessed be, Bellymonster.
Happy Mother's Day.