Dear Little Boys,
It's late on Christmas Eve and you are both sleeping. Big Brother, you are upstairs in your bed with your blankie positioned just so above your head and your long legs wrapped in covers. Little Brother, you are tiny and beside me in the bassinet swaddled up tight with your binky resting on your chest.
Big Brother, you are 2 1/2 and this is your third Christmas. I don't know if you'll remember this one, but it is sure more fun for us the older you get. Before bed while your mom was feeding Little Brother, you and your daddy set out three cookies for Santa. (You tried very hard to convince your daddy that Santa wanted more than three, but I think the extra were for you.) You put the cookies on a plate under the Christmas tree and then went up to bed to dream of reindeer and presents.
Little Brother, you are six weeks old and it is your first Christmas with us. You are soft and snugly and quiet as a whisper. Your dark eyes search my face, and your lips give me a tiny smile - the best Christmas gift I could hope for.
Boys, your parents spent over two hours tonight putting together an elaborate "Metropolis" train set complete with three bridges, a crane and a helipad, in the play room for Big Brother. They've joked all evening about how long it will hold your attention (ten minutes? five?), but it's a pretty great toy. It's so special for me to be part of your holiday this year, with holiday songs and special meals and tiny Christmas sweaters. Elaborate discussions about what traditions to continue from your parents' childhoods and what new traditions to start: Where should the full stockings be waiting? Breakfast before or after presents? How do we keep Big Brother in bed until 7:00 AM? Your whole lives are ahead of you, and here we are at the beginning feeling grateful and in love and a little overwhelmed.
And now I am upstairs in the guest room, ready for bed and hoping for some good sleep. Big Brother, just as I was typing, you had a nightmare and I stood outside your closed door crying, not sure if I should go inside and wake you, or if it would startle you to see me instead of your mommy or daddy. You quieted down quickly (not before I could wake your sleep-deprived parents) and I am still shaken up - I never want you to be scared or alone or confused or hurt. How do I just protect you for your entire life? I want to.
Tonight I can't stop thinking of your busy little fingers, how Big Brother reaches across the table with his fork to look for food he might want from my plate. How Little Brother cuddles me, his breath on my neck and his scent on my shirt. I love you both so much. You are strong and full of life and you make us hope and work for the best in everything. When I kiss your foreheads, I say a thousand silent prayers for many, many, many more Christmases together. I love you both.
Love, Santa Auntie