To Allie: Year 3

Dear Allie,

I remember feeling similarly after the completion of your brother’s 2nd year. So stark are the changes from the beginning to the end of this year it’s hard to know where to begin. So let me start by saying that you are just a force. You have an infectious laugh, you talk non-stop and you narrate everything that’s happening. You are so, so, so, silly. You sing songs, sometimes in silly voices. I love your silly voices. You have a terrific imagination and invent scenarios when you play with your toys. I think you’ve even helped unlock your older brother’s imagination more. You know how to make jokes already and do so frequently. Have I mentioned how silly you are? You are also a much more willful boy than your brother. Challenging authority, contrarian, sometimes naughty for the hell of it. A little bit conniving. You are rambunctious and like to charge at your father to give him head butts. Your height is rather unfortunate right now, and there is much guarding of sensitive areas as you run with reckless abandon! I love it all. It’s amazing how with your last child, it becomes all too clear that these beautiful moments are so temporary.

The way I see myself in you
And even the way
I sometimes don’t

I’d like to believe
that I was like you
when I was your age

Can you teach me that giggle?
Would you tell me how
to make that silly voice?
Will you show me how
to run headlong into things
laughing all the way
hair bobbing up and down

I hope
I was like you
I hope all children
get to laugh like that
and help us adults grow

into you

Your personality is shining through more and more each day. I am sure it’s too early to know exactly the kind of person you are, this warm and gregarious person is blossoming and it’s just so wonderful to see.

The coolest thing about you, which is maybe unfair since you only started doing it a few weeks ago (and in general makes these letters very biased to what I can actually remember over the course of the year) is the way you have started commenting on the facial expressions and body language of characters in storybooks. It’s so cool that you are interpreting expressions and even though you aren’t really listening to the story so you get the intent of the facial expression wrong sometimes, I always understand your thought process and I love that this is what you are paying attention to.

As to who I am right now, the truth is, I just feel like I’m in a holding pattern. Will I still be a meteorology professor next year? Am I on the brink of some great enlightenment, or is this just all there is? Are things going to get worse? I feel like life is on pause somehow. That I’m waiting for something and I don’t know what it is. There’s a tension in the air. Trump is no longer president. It’s something, but still so much uncertainty lies ahead. It crippled me in January and for the first time in a long time, I felt empty of strength and it scared me. My love for you, your brother and your mother is the surety in my life and I am grateful for it every day.

It’s been a long year since your last birthday. It’s been approximately a year since the Coronavirus pandemic hit. When I think about how different this past year was supposed to be, the one bright point is that I have gotten to spend a lot more time with you than I probably would have, if life was ‘normal’. If there is any good to come out of this pandemic it’s to redefine normal. And while I haven’t gotten to take you to as many places as your brother when he was your age, I know, that for you, just being able to spend more time with your family has been a blessing. With your brother being at home a lot more I have also seen your bond with him grow immensely, and it’s so beautiful to see. Dhyan waited a long time for you both to sleep in the same room together, and now you sleep with each other and it’s so adorable. So while you may not have gotten the variety of life experiences, you have experienced no shortage of love.

That being said, I do long to take you places and see your face light up with excitement. While we slowly unroll from the pandemic, I know those days lie ahead and that the pandemic won’t even be a memory for you. There is so much I want you to see. There are snowcapped mountains, there are restless salty waves, there are places far far away to fly to. So much more awaits us.

I love you my Allie. Happy Birthday!

7 thoughts on “To Allie: Year 3

  1. What a beautiful letter to Allie! And yes, in many ways you were like him – full of mischief. You had this impish smile, and eyes full of light, challenging us as you inched toward the electrical socket with your finger outstretched to check it out. You had to test the waters to see how deep they were. But you were not a naughty child, just full of mischief and laughter.

    Perhaps Allie is much like you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Generally speaking, the acorns don’t fall too far from the tree. 🙂

    Enjoy the journey. Well, I can see that you already are. Keep enjoying the journey 🙂 Too many get so caught up in the day to day business, they lose sight of the important things. Which admittedly happened to me at times, but you always have to stop and have fun with the kids when you can.

    Parents that are all grown up, aren’t any fun 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Shell. I do feel in some ways that I’ve forgotten my inner child a bit since I became a dad fairly old. But the children are helping me. I have trouble sometimes relating to small children which was never a problem when I was younger. I’ve spent so much life interacting with college students and other adults. It’s taken some time and is still a work in progress, but this silly guy just makes me laugh and laugh. 🙂

      Like

  3. This is so precious. I am so glad you write these things for your boys. I did this when my daughters were little, and I tried to get their dad to do it, and he did, rather perfunctorily. But your observations are touching and warm and devoted and I love them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Bela. ❤ So many emotions, and really I should be writing bits all through the year and then assembling and synthesizing come their birthday, because I sure am very biased to what I really notice in the last couple of months. The year is so hard to keep track of. So many changes. But these children are so wonderful and I know that when they are 16 and I try to describe things when they were between 2-3 it would be even worse, so at least it's something. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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