Matty and Bot,

I know I constantly ask you if you’re listening but I ask because it’s important. It’s not enough to hear, you have to listen. Believe it or not, your life depends on it. It might not seem like it now, but someday you’ll get it.

Right now you just have me and your dad to listen to – and we’re going to ask you 700 times a day if we have to. Are you listening?  And we might demand it 600 more times a day if we have to. Listen to me. I repeat myself like a broken record – in parking lots, when you’re too close to the street, in the grocery store, at the convenience store, the zoo, the car, the kitchen, the living room, up and down the stairs, the bath and even as I put you to bed. Are you listening?

It won’t always be like this, though. I promise.

Right now it seems like a command, I know. And it’s annoying, I get it. But someday, listening will show someone you respect them. Someday, listening will prove to someone you value them. And someday, listening might save your life. As we grow older together, you’ll learn that listening to some people is more important than others and you’ll learn more about who you are and sometimes you’ll make the right choices and sometimes you won’t – but today I just want you to practice listening. The understanding will come. The lessons will have their time. But, today, listening is the most important.

Jesus, please be sure to listen.

You’re sweet by nature but ornery and rebellious by trade. Today you have your chubby cheeks, high pitched voice, lack of knowing, pint-sized self, angelic innocence and me to protect you – but someday, you wont. When that time comes, you’ll only have your heart and your head and they’ve been known to disagree. That’s why it’s important to listen now. Because someday your life might depend on it. And no one should ever have to miss out on you because you didn’t listen.

Love you so much,