Oh, my little one, you are getting not so little and yet I find myself being turned into a cliché parent with you. You are my baby, and I am even more desperate than I thought I could be to keep you little, to keep you cuddly, and sweet. I am resigned that because Dhyan is older, he must grow up and enter the world, and somehow with you, I just want to preserve your little 4 year oldness. It’s completely illogical of course, because I knew as was the case with your brother, every step you take, is a step further away from me, but still I feel like I want to hold on to you more. It’s almost like it’s not time’s fault, that somehow you children are growing through some divine intervention and I want to make a deal and say, “Okay you can let that one grow up” but not this one.
But of course it is all emotional nonsense. The fact is, you will grow, and I am also excited to see how you grow. You are certainly different child than your brother. You have an exuberance, a silliness, and an energy that is unlike anything I expected. There is just something special about you that makes me think you are going to surprise me in some way. I don’t know, just something I feel in my heart. Perhaps that’s just more emotional nonsense. I guess only time will tell.
Alright so let’s get down to the brass tacks. What have you been like this past year. You love to come up to me and slap my tummy. You still like to climb up me, but you are too tall stand on my shoulders so you sit on them now. It’s still 50/50 that my shoulders will give out before you are ready to stop doing this. You are loud when you are playing video games on your tablet. Quite boisterous and eager to climb on me jump on me. The danger of injuring me is ever present with you. And yet at the same time I love it. Even when I sometimes pretend that I don’t. I mean sometimes it would be nice that you would run and give me a hug instead of running and slapping my tummy, but your excitement to see me just makes me smile. You have come to specifically slap my tummy twice in the writing of this letter. (Addendum: 4 times).
The thing that bothers me the most about you right now is how long it takes to eat. You just can’t sit down and eat. Any excuse to get up. Even to give a hug, which you know always works, even though you really should be eating. Then when we can’t sit there anymore and leave you get sad that nobody is sitting at the table with you. I am very much looking forward to the day when you are a hungry growing boy and shovel in your food!
Oddly, since I wrote Dhyan’s birthday letter, life has brought some significant events to my life, one to all our lives. Your grandfather died. I am sorry you never really go to know him. Your grandfather suffered from alcoholism and our relationship was strained when he announced he didn’t want to come to our home anymore when I invited him out to meet you when you were just a baby. I was so mad that I broke contact with him. By the time he got around to apologize it was almost 5 years later. I would say that you seemed to be bonding to him quickly. He was always good with children, and I wish you had more time. He died while staying with us after catching double pneumonia. Even though you didn’t know him well, you were notably impacted by his death. For the first time in your young life you had to confront what the death of a person meant. You’ve had some difficult moments, and even now you are still worried about sickness leading to death. That’s what happened to him. It’s hard to make you understand, and I am sure this will pass, but for right now we are keeping a close eye on you and will get you help if you seem to be really struggling emotionally. I don’t think it’s impacting you too much, but it’s a still a big thing to process.
As for me, it was difficult watching him helpless and on life support in the hospital. I cried when he passed, but I think it was not only because I didn’t want him to die, but also because it was the end of a sad story. He had a difficult life that led him to addiction, and he never really escaped its grip. There are many good, even amazing things about him. And there was a lot of hurt and troubling things as well. But if you grow up to love me, then you will also love him, for he is a part of me. And I will do my best to tell you the truth of him, because there is so much to learn from someone as beautiful and flawed as he was. So even though he didn’t get to know you, you will get to know him through my eyes.
The other thing of note is that I am going to be a published author. Not in meteorology like a good professor, but in poetry. In about a week and half from this letter there will be a book out there with my name on it that will actually be in somebody’s house. It’s thrilling and also a bit strange. I never thought something like this would happen. I just enjoy writing, and think language is amazing with all the things you can do with it.
You had a wonderful year coming out of the pandemic. You got to go to London and you had a wonderful time even if you don’t have strong memories. You were a good traveler and I’m glad you have a sense of adventure.
Life is going to change for you this year. You’re so smart and I’m so proud of you. I’m excited by the personality emerging from you more and more each day. You are starting to school and thus begins a long journey of formal learning. But I think you will like school and you will excel just like your brother.
by me so quickly
but take not time with you
my little one
just being a cliché
what would be the harm
if you fit
nestled in my arms?
my little one
with amber hair
your life will unfurl
but you just look
when you’re small
6 thoughts on “To Allie: Year 5”
“when you’re small
and curl” – love this.
Happy Birthday, Allie!
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Aww….thank you, Meg. Much appreciated! 🙂
Nice work boss. Happy birthday A.
He is a joy to be around, full of life and energy and so smart. And oh yes, those big blue eyes that look at you when he wants it his way. I didn’t know blue eyes could be just as compelling as brown ones. Love you Allie and Happy Birthday from Grandma.
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Sweet, Swarn. Good fathers are a treasure! Love your tributes to your boys. 💞
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Beautiful post, Swarn. Congratulations on your book of poetry!