To Our Older Children:
I want to thank you and let you know that I notice the things that are a part of your life when you have several younger siblings.
Thank you that even though it's frustrating, you still love your little sister when she's eaten another pair of your earbuds.
Thank you for understanding that sometimes little people scribble on papers that don't belong to them....like ones that belong in your books. Sorry.
Thank you for laughing at completely nonsensical knock-knock jokes from a 4 and 6 year old. It validates their attempt to join in the fun of telling a joke and it makes them feel like you really listen.
Thank you for realizing that sometimes we can't go to something because it just wouldn't be suitable to have all the littles along. One day they will know that there were things to which I didn't take them because it wouldn't have been suitable for you.
Thank you for all the times you help clean up a spill, pour more milk, dish up a plate, scoot in their chair, pick up a dropped fork, and convince them to eat a few more bites.
Thank you for carrying them over snowbanks and mud puddles, in the pouring rain and in gusty winds, so that I don't have to make so many trips to load/unload the van.
Thank you for zipping coats and helping with boots and finding mittens.
Thank you for knowing that they are watching you and looking up to you; that they are learning from you by being with you.
Thank you for helping with math, for reading stories, and for reacting so convincingly when ambushed by soldier-cowboy-ninja-spies.
Thank you for admiring and praising the ballerina-princesses in your life.
Thank you for teaching them how to ride a bike, for switching training wheels off--and sometimes back on.
Thank you for squashing spiders and for fast-forwarding the scary part on Lion King.
Thank you for the times you've had to bring the same-gender-as-you child to the bathroom at Wal-Mart.
Thank you for teaching them how to play chess.
Thank you for being good big brothers and a good big sister.
I really do appreciate it.