Dear Little Man,
Some might say that this newsletter is late because I'm posting it the day after your actual 26-month birthday, and I guess they would be right. In my defense, I started it almost two weeks ago, as I always do, because I've got too short of an attention span to remember all the amazing things you do to write this at the end of the month. Yesterday, I announced to the world that you have a sibling on the way. And as the oldest child myself, I can see how you might think that this new sibling is already displacing you, what with him/her deciding to make their presence known on your day. I bet you anything, he/she did it on purpose. Now go pull his/her three-week old fetus hair.
I want to place a bet right now, and that bet is that your future career will either include teaching or interrogation techniques. I feel it's a little early for me to choose between the two, so I'm going to settle for narrowing down your options to these two choices.
Many people who know me would say that I'm kind of oblivious, even when it comes to the obvious. However, the past month has been all about you quizzing me all. freaking. day., to the point that even I've noticed that the odds are very good that you will become an educator or a CIA interrogator.
We'll be sitting in the car, next to a multi-colored truck, one that has every color of the rainbow as part of its paint job, and you'll ask me "what color, Mama?"
Each time, my heart rate accelerates, my blood pressure rises and as I try to figure out which color you're thinking of, I'll take a shot in the dark. "uhm, it's red?"
Silence. Then a disapproving look from you followed by "no Mama, it's blue."
We'll keep doing this back and forth, and as I keep choosing the wrong color each time, your brow will suddenly furrow and I can see in your eyes that you are concerned that I won't be able to help you when you're attending Harvard and you're having trouble with a third year organic chemistry problem.
A few days ago, you were looking through an animal book, you pointed to a tiger and you said "Mama, what's that?" I responded, in French "c'est un tigre." You looked at me, shook your head and said "no, it's a tiger."
The only times I get to be right are when I know what you're pointing to, or when it's a word you don't know yet, like the time you pointed to a bulldozer, asked me what it is and when I told you, you thought about it for a second and said "yes, Mama, that's right."
I'm thinking you might be more of a science brain, than an artsy-fartsy man, as you don't like to get crazy creative, which unfortunately for you is my second-favorite thing to do after eating chocolate. You? Are more like the Baptist side of the family on the way things should be. If we do things a certain way once, you like them to be done the exact same way from that point on, because as you see it, that is the only right way. And we simply cannot do things the wrong way, we are civilized people, damn it.
I bought you a Mr. Potato Head and you enjoyed taking his various features off and putting them back in. After a few minutes of playing with it, I said to you "Look, what if we put his nose where his arm belongs!" And when I did it and laughed, you paused, looked alarmed and said "oh no, oh no!" and quickly fixed Mr. Potato Head, as if his sense of smell would be forever damaged by my callous attitude toward the plastic tater. From this point on, each time we have taken Mr. Potato Head apart and you hand me a piece so that I may help you, I know that I shouldn't mess around during such a risky surgery, instead, I should just put back the body parts where they belong. If I know what's good for me.
Then, just because I apparently like to make you upset because I obviously don't have any hobbies of my own, I decided that we'd use your Mr. Potato parts on our pumpkin. I know, I realize now that people have been hanged for such stupidity. But I'm still kind of new to this whole mother thing. When I tried to put one of Mr. Potato's arms on the pumpkin, you freaked and yelled "no mama! No pumpkin!" Because duh! That's very obviously a potato man nose and vampire teeth. Which do not under any circumstance belong on a pumpkin.
I have noticed lately how much you've impacted me, particularly with my speech. You tend to say "oh my goodness!" whenever something surprises you, pleases you, or just when you need an expletive. Lately, at work, I've found that instead of saying "oh..." followed by a four letter word that rhymes with truck or twit, I'll exclaim "oh my goodness!", just like you. I'm sure my coworkers think I'm some time traveling Baptist from the 50's, but every time I say it, it makes me smile, because it reminds me that since you came along, I'm a better person: I laugh more, I notice the little things, and I've learned that one episode of Mickey Mouse Club House a day, just isn't enough.
Looking at you often feels like looking into a kaleidoscope, full of blinding colors that give me the kind of bliss I never even knew existed, and yet, every time I turn my head slightly, I see something completely different. When you cry, I see my baby, my little man, the mussy haired toddler whose head fits perfectly in the crook of my shoulder, and whose breath against my neck makes every fiber of my body feel loved. When you laugh, I see the man you'll become, a happy generous person, with a laugh so infectious, that it often causes my entire rib cage to hurt from my own laughter in response to yours. When you talk, I see a little boy, no longer a baby and yet, with so much still to learn. Sometimes I worry that I don't retain enough of this time we have together, that you won't remember it at all and that I feel I must remember enough for both of us. I wish I could just capture your every move, every emotion, every word, every laugh, every funny thing you say on camera, so that I'd have them to cherish forever and ever.
I know that life won't always be this great. I realize, at times, as you grow up, our relationship might become awkward or strained. I hope this never happens, but I understand that you will change. I hope you never doubt, no matter what happens, how much I truly love you. And that I know how lucky I am to have had you enter my life, turn my world upside down and teach me to really live, really love, really be happy. To think that once upon a time, I had a life without you, a life where I didn't know that I could feel so much joy, it just boggles my mind at this point.
You have such a good heart, my sweet boy. If you are eating something and notice that I am not eating anything, you offer me a bite of your food. In the mornings, you almost always share your breakfast with me, even if it's a biscuit with jelly or a bagel with cream cheese, proof again that you are my carboholic genetic spin-off. If I ask you to give a toy you're playing with to one of your friends, you gladly surrender it every single time, without any complaints. I have so much left to learn from you. I just hope you don't ever get bored of teaching me.
I love you, my Little Man,
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Dear Little Man,