Getting all sentimental now Milestones and growing up

My sentimental you

May 3, 2013

To my dearest, sweetest Ben,

What a shock I got when I sat you on my lap today. I have forgotten how it’s like to hold you up and carry you. You’ve grown so much, so quickly.

Ben Kao

You don’t sit on my lap anymore during story time. Because everyone else pounces on me, you choose to lean against my side.

I don’t carry you anymore. You’ve gotten too heavy for my arms. You watch me while I babywear your brother and carry your sister. You’re happy just to hold my hands.

Sometimes, you don’t even get to hold my hands. Every day, when we head out to school, I have Nat in the Beco, your school bags over one arm, and a hand clutching Becky tight (we all know how far she can run, even on the road). You’re just contented to hold on to my shorts.

Yesterday, when I had to leave for class, you bravely said bye and gave me a smile. It started to pour and I returned for an umbrella. I found you tearing at a corner. I asked you why you were crying. You replied that you missed me. You hugged me tight like I’m the only one you’ve got in the whole world.

This is you. My little, sentimental, you.

You watch daily as I frenzy around, handling one sometimes unreasonable and temperamental child, and one whiny, clingy baby. You see me getting drained, day after day, by the endless tantrums and screaming, and you offer a kind touch, always. You observe, quietly, as I trudge on, exhausted by your needy little brother who refuses to be away from me and you offer help by distracting him. You wait patiently for Mama; you want her and need her too. She’s got stories to tell you, answers to your questions and lessons to teach you. You hang around her every minute, waiting for that moment she finally has time for you.

You sometimes bear the brunt of her anger and her impatience. And because you’re so mild and gentle, you take it, swallow it, and continue loving her, because Mama is the apple of your eye. You do things to get her attention, and when you mess up, you end up lashed and broken. Mama always expects more from you. So you try everyday, to do things right, to make her happy.

I see all these, my son. I see my many expectations of you. I see how I am answering your questions with ‘I don’t know’ more often now than before. I see how unfair I’ve been, always making you give in to the younger ones.

Today, we took the bus alone – just you and me – and finally explored the upper deck of a double decker! You were delighted, even though it was only for a short while. We had to leave a sick and screaming Becks at home, and I saw in your eyes that you were as drained as I was having to put up with her tantrums and hissy fits before we left the house. If it was you, you’d only sob quietly at a corner, and miss me in your heart.

How different the two of you are.

How blessed I am to have you in my life. Your gentleness is a respite on such days of mothering madness.

How I need to learn to treasure you.

My sentimental Ben

I love you to the moon and back,


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  • Reply Christine May 7, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    Hi Elizabeth!  Tears after tears strolled down my cheeks while reading this very moving piece.  You certainly articulated what mothers feel deep inside.  Thank you for that!

    • Reply MotherKao May 7, 2013 at 10:09 PM

      Thanks, Christine. 🙂 Thanks for dropping by!

  • Reply Adora @Gingerbreadmum May 4, 2013 at 9:27 PM

    Awwww! This made me cry! Such a sweet letter. And such a sweet boy. I feel so bad for brushing poppy   aside sometimes too and asking her to read a few books while I settle the baby. Sometimes she’s there once I open the door and she’s got the book in her hand and says “can you read with me now?” And I just know that my bladder can wait another ten minutes for me to read a book or three 

    • Reply MotherKao May 6, 2013 at 9:54 PM

      Yea, Ben too! Always asking me to read and I have to do two tuck ins sometimes, and now that he skips his nap, he waits outside patiently with all the books he’s selected for me to read to him!

  • Reply Shuqing May 3, 2013 at 8:35 PM

    Such a sweet boy! I will always find it amazing how you juggle 3 kids. I find it mind boggling!

    • Reply MotherKao May 6, 2013 at 9:55 PM

      Haha, I also don’t know how I pull it off everyday!

  • Reply Abby May 3, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    What a heart warming letter from a mother to a 4-year old. Ben is surely a very well-behaved, understanding boy for his age! I got a feeling he looks more like your hubby while Becks is more like you, in terms of personality?

    • Reply MotherKao May 3, 2013 at 6:03 PM

      You’re right, Abby. Becks and I have more similar temperaments, while Ben and my husband are somewhat milder and *ahem* nicer! Haha.

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