Because you are my youngest I am writing your birthday post two days after it passed.
I’ve exchanged filling in your baby book for keeping your brother from scaling the television while you teethed on my shoulder and your sisters cried on the floor.
Your pacifiers were cleaned off on the thigh of my jeans and “candy” was your second word.
Because you are my youngest I slid you in our bed when it made nights easier and I hugged your crib before we took it down.
You walked when you wanted to and talked when you wanted to and I didn’t consult a single chart or book.
I’ve let you be picky with your food and insistent on your clothes and stepped over you when it was a meltdown you needed to cry out.
Because you are my youngest you’ve stayed up way too late and used a toddler bed for two days of your toddlerhood.
You run to keep up with your siblings and I waver between cheering you on and squeezing you into a baby sling.
We skipped the baby signing videos for Dora and took the fast track to baseball, soccer and couch-jumping.
But because you are my youngest, when you wake up in the morning I carry you for a bit.
Your long legs dangle and your head balances on my shoulder and I rub the baby hairs at your neck.
Sometimes we should be in a hurry and sometimes I need both arms.
But I know this time, how quickly I will put you down to join the others, how easily you will slip into your own space, forgetting my hand is there to hold and saying goodbye without turning your head back.
So I will be right here waiting to let you be little whenever you don’t want to be big
because you are my youngest.
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