So tell me, how do you like the ride so far?
You probably don't remember this, what with the impossibly lovely and busy year you've recently completed, but I wrote you a similar open letter last August. Way back then, mind you, we had absolutely no idea that we were just a few months away from packing up a minivan and moving us all 3,000 miles from one coast to another. Truth be told, we didn't even know we were about to buy a minivan. But that's pretty much indicative of this past year. These days, our lives are all about improvisation, creatively crazy decisions, and big surprises.
And without a doubt, no surprises have been greater than the wondrous ones you have given us.
In last year's letter, I joked about how I couldn't wait to see what baffling signature moves you'd bring to a junior high dance floor. Never once did I think that between now and then, you'd have perfected a dance floor classic -- The Sprinkler. Not entirely sure how it happened (okay, maybe I showed it to you once or twice while your Mom wasn't looking), but now when we're playing, all I have to do is call out, "Sprinkler!" and you instantly bend your arm at the elbow, put your hand near your ear, flash that amazing five-tooth smile, and shucka-shucka-shucka-shucka off you go -- the Brave Little Sprinkler, gettin' down and watering our loft with style!
And don't even get me started on the electrifying shimmy you show off whenever you hear the opening rockabilly riffs of the Dinosaur Train theme song. Seriously, little dude, you've got moves that could put Johnny Castle to shame and make Frances "Baby" Houseman stand in a corner.
Of course, this is just one trick in your dazzling and multiplying arsenal of new talents, and here as we kick off Year Two of you, every day is a new excuse for wonder, awe, and Awwww... If I've come to develop any new tricks of my own -- and at my age, I thought I was for the most part fairly solidly formed -- it has to be a rekindled appreciation for all things simple. There are times when I am moved to a shiver just watching you identify books in your library, or critters in the colossal plush zoo we used to call "our loft." Little Guy, you have definitely brought delight to the ordinary, an ideal I once held dear, but perhaps neglected as adulthood carved little scars and notches upon a once innocent and optimistic belief system.
Being your dad is a dizzy dichotomy of euphoric exhaustion; a time in which I scarcely sleep, yet am buoyed by the rejuvenation of a youthful spirit. I have never come close to taking on a challenge quite like you, but the rewards seem both unimaginable and limitless. Just these past few weeks...
See, I've always thought I had a relatively decent vocabulary. But to me, the most impressive words I have ever heard actually came from you here in our manic magical Summer of '12...
To think I once thought age made me emotionally immovable.
Ah, but for all of our smiles, laughs, and mind-blowing moments, you also have to occasionally endure tough times of intense frustration. Sometimes everything about this enormous world suddenly gets too overwhelming for you, and the pure excitement of it all brings you to a fierce mental crash. Sometimes you struggle to fall asleep, or stay asleep. Sometimes you get irritated that we're not giving you our undivided attention for a whole 10-15 seconds.
And sometimes you fall down.
As your new words completely melt me, so too does even your slightest tumble break my heart. Intellectually, I am well aware that toddlers will toddle 'til they topple, but when it happens, my emotions don't so much care about what my intellect knows to be true. When it happens, a part of me topples with you, and I struggle not to hate myself for letting it happen as though I can be everywhere at once. See, I know you need to own these little unsteady moments...
But as your dad, I don't have to like them, and I have every right to swear that I'll never let it happen again.
Even though I know that it will.
Kiddo, here as we kick off Year Two of your big adventure, let's say we make a deal. You keep on inspiring me as only you can do, and I'll do my part to ensure the ride is a safe trip. I am wholly confident you'll be able to hold up your end of this bargain effortlessly -- being delightful is just how you roll.
I just hope that I can give you as much as you've given me, 'cause I kind of owe you everything.
Little one, the whole wide world is yours for the taking. So put your tiny hand in mine...
|And if you fall,
I will catch you,
I'll be waiting.
Time after time.
What, you didn't honestly think I'd forget to drop a few cheesy 80s song references, did you? ;)
Go get 'em, Little Guy!
With Endless Big Love,