Each year I think the thoughts will flow easier, but I find myself this year less able to encapsulate what this year has been like. You seem to have changed immensely and yet it was hardly surprising I suppose in retrospect. You started pre-school at the beginning of the year, did that for 3 months, then went to Poland with your grandfather, and was there 3 weeks with just your grandparents, before your mom and Allie joined you for another 3 weeks. You a blissful summer under the sun, and then began school and I’ve never seen you shine so brightly. I know being able to be around and play with other kids more consistently has been enjoyable for you. I am sure there are going to be hiccups navigating the social waters, but I have no doubt you’ll find your way so long as you remain kind.
It’s been a very big year for you. It’s weird to think how you can be afraid to go by yourself upstairs to your room, but you have no problem going across a big ocean far away from your parents. The latter taking far more bravery than the former. It’s interesting the things we are frightened of. Most of it largely unreasonable. I missed you terribly being without you for 6 weeks, but I also couldn’t be more proud. I am glad you got to really experience your mom’s home country and got to speak the language in a place where everybody speaks it. You made friends with Polish children, you ordered things in Polish. It’s wonderful!
And now, in just one semester of kindergarten you’re reading and writing skills have improved dramatically. I am greatly enjoying watching the world open up to you. What used to be some random assort of symbols, you recognize now as letters and words, and it’s wonderful to see those eyes widen with recognition and excitement that you are reading. We had our first parent/teacher interview and your teacher had nothing but wonderful things to say about you. She did mention that you do get a little bit silly, especially when there is someone to goof around with. I was just happy that you’re the same kid at school that we see at home.
What was also nice this year is that I did get to spend much more time with you. While you still prefer your mommy, I can tell that you look forward to our time together and I enjoy your company so much. I love the questions you ask, and the way you look at the world. You are such a kind and fair boy. It is the one greatest wish for my children, and it feels like you are already there. Now I just have to figure out how to keep you on that path.
Now here is my one problem with you. Why can’t you just sit down and eat a meal? I don’t understand why you are out of your seat more than in it while we’re eating. I don’t know why you always have to go to the bathroom during meal. I don’t understand how it can take an hour to eat. Everything else Is easy with you until the parents vs. Dhyan meal times. I sense this is distressing to both us. Perhaps that’s why battles wear on because we don’t know how to communicate with each other properly. That being said, you will find a whole exciting world awaits you after meal time when you don’t use all your free time eating.
But if that’s the worst of it, I think it would be manageable. With all the growth you’ve had over the past year, I start to see you more clearly in your future and I worry about what security I can provide you in your life. My job has become less stable, this country grows ever more divided and corrupt, that the world seems more inclined to lean towards authoritarians and xenophobes, and the harm we are causing our planet continues as too much political capital in the countries that could do the most, pretends that it’s not even happening. I feel like I should be preparing you for a harsh reality, but those joyful moment with you give me strength each day. And in the end maybe that is what’s most important. Without enough joyful moments, maybe it’s not possible to know what is worth fighting for. In any world where people are needed to make things better, they are going to be bright, creative, kind, and vigilant. We need good people to look up to. I hope I can raise you to be someone who has qualities that makes people feel better when they are around you.
The quality that continues to emerge most strongly in you, is your creative ability. Especially in terms of design. Your mother has this quality in her abundance, but it was never my forte. It makes me feel sometimes I don’t know how to guide you. It makes me worry that there is some greatness I you that I don’t know how to make sure rises to the surface. But I guess that’s why there are two of us raising you, and maybe what’s really the most important is just making sure you feel completely loved. I hope that a large part of you becoming who you are meant to be is about giving you that loving environment that makes you feel free to be that person. That being said, I love that you love math and that is one area that I am enjoying exploring with you, because I share the same love of numbers and patterns. And I love watching Brain Games with you. Understanding the brain is such a big part of understanding ourselves. I hope you continue to have this interest, because learning about the brain has had a profound impact on my life.
I love you more each day Dhyan. It’s hard to believe this is possible sometimes, but as your complexity grows so does my love for you. And so, as in the past, the fear of losing you grows too. I guess I’m glad these things happen gradually, because it means I only have to get a little bit stronger every day. This fear is something I can only look at from a distance. It is too big to engage in it for any serious length of time. It is so large that it actually becomes a helpful reminder that losing yourself in what might be ruins any chance you have of enjoying and making a difference in what is. That’s one of the few truths I know that I want to make sure you understand as well. A realization that has come far later in life than I wish it had.
Happy birthday my sweet young man. I look forward to watching you grow another year, and I just want you to know that you teach me things too, and I also grow. I also want you to know that every time you love someone you change too. It doesn’t matter whether they are a child or an adult. I am so excited to be on this journey of life with you.