Dear Joshua at age 6,
You're the last baby, so you're allowed to come in our bed in the middle of the night, squish in-between us, steal the blankets and force me to sleep halfway off the mattress edge.
You're the last baby, so you're able to bring your bunny to first grade in your backpack (provided he stays tucked away). Maybe some would say you're too old to be allowed this luxury, but I have the wisdom gained from your brothers before you that tells me this won't last forever.
You're the last baby, so I linger for extra bedtime hugs and kisses. I savor the storybooks, bath toys and cute pajamas. The nightly rituals of early childhood are among life's simplest gifts.
You're the last baby, so I procrastinate weeding out the blankie and sippy cup collections. When those leave my house, I will never have a reason to replace them, and sometimes that makes me sad.
You're the last baby, so I often forget how big you really are. Your height actually rivals that of your 9 year old brother's.
You're the last baby, so I have gratitude for you being the one to truly teach me patience and multi-tasking.
You're the last baby, so I'll never again be the frazzled mama at big kid school pick up with a fussy toddler on my hip, looking for his pacifier. I didn't know I could ever feel sentimental about moments like that, seemingly so stressful at the time.
You're the last baby, so while I want to keep you little, I know there are joys in watching you grow. I hope for your happiness and health and many fun stages to come.