My dear thirdborn,

It was a typical Wednesday night.

We’d just finished dinner, and by the time I’d finished clearing the table and loading the dishwasher, you were already done with your bath.

I picked you up and wrapped your warm, soft, wet, sweet little chubby 1-year-old body inside a towel. A perfect warm little burrito.

As I carried you into your bedroom, your damp head collapsed into my chest.

I laid you on your changing table, and I sensed your dad ushering your 2 older brothers into the tub. Soon I could hear the crashing and splashing and rough-and-tumble play that would occupy them for the next 10 minutes.

But right now, I knew. It was just us.

You and me.

Inside your quiet, perfect, safe cozy room.

The lights were dim, and all that illuminated your tender, round face was the shine of the hallway light.

It was beautiful.

Softly and tenderly, I put on your diaper and looked into your eyes.

A smile rolled across your lips, and I could feel myself letting go of the laundry that needed to be switched and the counters that needed to be wiped and that crumbly granola bar that needed to be swept up.

For this moment, all of that was gone.

All that mattered was you and me.

And for once, my dear thirdborn, I let myself get caught in the moment with you.

Your tiny hands pulled my tired face toward yours. You gripped my greasy ponytail, wrapped your hands around my head, and opened your soft warm mouth until you felt my lips just inside.

Suddenly, all my chores melted into your sweet perfect chuckles and those rounded new white teeth that I buried my puckered lips into, over and over.

The novelty of my undivided attention so exciting that you chuckled with delight.

As if nothing in the world were better than this moment.

And my dear son, I wholeheartedly agree.

The moment was so perfect that, after a few minutes, I had an urge to capture it. To grab my iPhone, 20 feet away in the kitchen, and snap a photo of this sweet and tender and delicious and precious moment. I knew I’d likely forget it by tomorrow, when cereal would be flying and socks would be missing.

I so wanted to capture this moment.

But instead, I stayed.

I didn’t go anywhere.

Because I knew that, if I left the room, the moment would be lost. Your brothers would notice me and want to know what the commotion was about. They’d turn the lights on tumble into the room and bombard our sweet moment.

And so, I stood in the dark. And kept you all to myself.

It was perfect.

Talking to you. Playing with you. Touching your soft skin and praying over your sweet baby body.

Just us.

And so my dear thirdborn, this is why there aren’t as many photos of you. I promise, it’s not because I love you any less. It’s because our moments together are so precious that I can’t be bothered to document them with anything but my tender Mama heart.

And so, the only memory I’ll have are the sweet words I’ve written here.

And that, my sweet baby, is better than any picture.

In looking for a photo for this post, I decided to look through my iPhone and share the most recent picture I could find of my thirdborn. Out of 300 pictures, there were only 3 of him alone. I love picture because it exemplifies his contentedness. I’d left him for a few minutes to help his older brothers down the slide, and when I came back, I saw him happily waiting and being still.

Dear Thirdborn, There Aren't As Many Pictures of You But That Doesn't Mean I Love You Any Less