Dear John Xavier,

My Xavi, my bugga, my littlest man, my love,

As the second child, I often struggle with feeling that I am somehow not giving you everything that I gave to your older brother.  I wonder if you are getting enough attention, enough love, enough kisses…enough organic, homemade food.  I feel guilt about the fact that most of your clothing was first worn by your brother, your toys first beat to Hell played with by your brother, and your alone time with me and daddy pretty rare.  I also feel guilt that I have not entered anything into your baby book yet.  I mean, I didn’t really follow through on your brother’s either, but at least I started it.

So, I have decided to write this to you.  To make sure that I remember this moment in time.  And to be certain that you know that even if I am the world’s worst scrapbooker and ‘follow through-er,’ I do take note of your milestones in my mind and in my heart.  And when I am honest with myself, you have lots of benefits as the younger brother.  Carlitos didn’t have someone fun to follow around every day, that’s for sure.

You are 9 months old. You just turned 9 months on Saturday.  We celebrated with a little strawberry cake we bought for you at a Mexican bakery in East Harlem.  We have celebrated each month of your little life with a cake.  (Except last month.  I’m sorry, bugga, but we totally forgot amidst the holidays.  I am pretty sure we forgot one month of your brother’s first year, too, so it is just that we are imperfect, not that we love you less.)  I am in disbelief that this month we were celebrating having you in our lives for NINE whole months.  The time has flown by.  You know what that means – you are one ton. of. fun. my friend!

You have another big milestone coming up this weekend with your baptism.  We are all going down to Maryland for the big occasion and there will be about 40 people there to celebrate YOU.  You are that special! (That’s two more people than were at our wedding, for crying out loud!)  Mima and Lito are hosting a party afterward, Grammy and Papi are flying down and bringing flowers and a case of lambrusco and Mommy and Daddy ordered you a very delicious Cake Love cake.   It will be a very special day.

I have to tell you that I had to prep your big brother about the baptism and explain what is going to happen and that it is a good thing.  Otherwise, he might have started yelling at Monsignor to stop putting water on you.  He is very, very protective of you.   Your brother looks out for you in one way or another every single day.  He is often the first to notice if you are upset.  He is the one to tell me your toy fell.  Or your diaper stinks.  Or that you want a hug.

You both sleep in the same room now, but when you were still sleeping in our room he would come upstairs every single morning and start by asking if he could see you.  Every morning he kisses you, hugs you, and says Buenos Dias, Xavi!  Then he usually looks at you and smiles and says, “What a cute little guy.”

He adores you.

And you are pretty obsessed with him, too.  The second he walks into a room you arch your neck to get a good look at him.  If he is playing with something you want to play with it, too – because it is obviously the coolest thing in the world if your big brother is playing with it.  And while mommy and daddy have to use tricks, like blowing raspberries on your tummy, to make you laugh, you will laugh hysterically at pretty much anything your big  brother does.

I can’t wait to watch the two of you be best friends when you are a little older.

Xavi, you are a very special little guy. (as your brother calls you)

You are calm, serene, and relaxed 98% of the time.  You almost never cry and when you do it is pretty easy to remedy.  You are peaceful to the max.

But you are also tough.  You are pulling up on everything now…which means you are falling pretty much daily.  The few times you do cry, you are very quickly soothed.  And when your brother does things like puts wooden trucks down the back of your pants or calculators down your shirt as you crawl around you are unfazed.  (He does adore you, but he is also a boy…and a brother.)

You have stinky little feet.  I am not sure how this is possible at 9 months, but you do.  Annnnd, you think it is hysterical when I smell them and scrunch up my nose in (play) disgust.  Such a boy.

You love squash and zucchini (as seen above!), but HATE bananas.  I mean, H.A.T.E.

When I say ‘mama’ you say ‘dada.’  But that’s okay, because I know that you are making your Daddy the happiest man on earth.  He loves how much you love him.

Also, you wave hello and goodbye and I am pretty sure you are already trying to say Hola and Adios.  Pretty much, you are a genius.

Your affection is….intense.  You are a ‘grabber’ like none I have ever seen.  You don’t just grab hair (although you do grab hair!), you grab ears, noses, cheeks, eyeballs.  You pull our faces in close and bite and kiss and eat whatever you can.  You don’t let go with your little iron grip until we are sufficiently wet with drool, and now that you have two teeth, sometimes sufficiently bleeding. (I’m kidding.  Mostly.)

Before you were born, I worried about how I was going to love both you and your brother equally.  Worried if there was enough room in my heart.  But you have honestly made my heart grow.  I didn’t know I could love this much, until you joined our family.  Because now I love you and your brother more than I can describe.  I would eat you up, were it socially acceptable.  I love you that much.  (I’d probably go for those stinky little toes first.)

So, happy 9 months, John Xavier.  My perfect little love.   I can not wait to see who you become.

You are definitely one special little guy.

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11 Responses to Dear John Xavier,

  1. Oh, this is so sweet! I worry about the same exact things. And it is pretty amazing to know that your heart, that was ready to explode with love for the first one, can get even bigger to hold the next one. As I tell my 4 year old, who at times feels a little sad she’s not the only one, “A mothers heart is grows and is big enough to fit everyone in there. It’s really quite amazing.”

  2. Denise Grassart says:

    So well said, Annie. Your sons will read this and smile someday. Nothing like the look of your “older” children smiling at you, after you’ve been thru the teen years, and the in between years. This will be a great piece for them to read when times get tough, and the nights are long. Their Mommy was there for them.

  3. Julie says:

    What a wonderful “Ode to Xavi”.
    It’s all true. We all love Xavi as much Carlitos Eli.

  4. Julie says:

    Your blog is better than a baby book.

  5. Nichola says:

    This was such a joy to read. You are such an honest, loving and REAL person and mommy! I am truly inspired by you and your boys. I have loved watching them grow from such a long distance… your blog has made this happen. Thank you!

  6. Kate Macdonald says:

    Hey Annie! It’s been a long while, but I wanted to say hey and let you to know I often read your blog. You are an amazing and entertaining writer!

    This post warmed my heart to the point of tears – your boys are very lucky :)

    Hope all is well with you and your family.
    Keep in touch,
    Kate

  7. Gabby says:

    Love it Annie!! You r an amazing writer!!! Sigue adelante Annie, tus hijitos son muy fortunados!!

  8. Thank you. :) You all make ME so happy and feel so loved!

    Kate (It’s hard to not write Katie!) – So excited to hear from you and know that you read my blog! And very touched that this post got to you. :) You HAVE to tell me the next time you come to NYC, okay? I know you must come here sometimes to see that sister of yours… ;)

  9. [...] variety of insane/drunk people yelling at 3 am?  Will I fit in with the other suburban moms?  (I can’t scrapbook to save my life, I refuse to drive anything the size of an army tank and my husband has 3 rules that I must abide [...]

  10. [...] – of this very moment.  I am going to try to use them in context, where possible.  I did write John Xavier a letter a few months ago, but this time is about both of them…because they are both pretty darn [...]

  11. Two Years says:

    [...] I just found a letter a wrote to you when you were 9 months old, and while you have retained your stinky toes and ‘aggressive’ affection, I busted out laughing when reading and remembering that we ever used the word ‘serene’ to describe you. [...]

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