October 15, 2007
Today you are spending the night at your grandparent’s. I miss you terribly as I do your sister. You celebrated your third birthday last week. I’m sorry I didn’t get one decent photo, and I’ve been kicking myself for having you trust only your old man’s memory of the occasion. You were very pleased with your cake: a colourful drawing of Mickey Mouse covered the whole of the chocolate cake – chocolate so rich that you’d agree that God’s bounty is endless when He gave us that magical substance.
Now that the both of you are far from sight, all I can think about are the times I’ve been hard on you. There was the time when I chased you around the living room just to make you close the cabinets that you opened. I am sure you had a good reason… maybe you thought the whole apartment would collapse if all the cabinets stayed shut… Then there was the time when I tickled you silly when you refused to give your dad a kiss goodbye before work. Of course, there was the time when I could not even find you a single pair shoes that you liked, when your sister got herself two.
Three years and you’ve already shown your persistence. Your decisiveness bends resolute decisions, you challenge proven parental practices, and I am sure you could bend spoons if you wanted to. You hold the third veto in the family. You sit in the front passenger seat, forcing your sister to sit at the back. You chew on the tiny paper cups used to present small biscuits and cake slices. You bought a pair of red heeled shoes that was four sizes too big, and parade them every day across the living room.
You learn from your sister very quickly. You were potty trained before your second birthday, you apologise soon after you’ve stepped on somebody’s toes, and you understand your sister’s funny little games.
You are already anxious at the thought of kindergarten next year. And to be honest, so are your mother and I. Of course, if there is anybody who could easily make friends with other children, it is you. You are first to approach a potential friend, even if he or she were three times older. You would play with a much older child before your sister would even warm up to the idea.
I have been very blessed. I have you. I have your sister. If life really were counterpoising, bad luck would haunt me ad infinitum. It would be relatively easy though, because it is from you and your sister that I draw much of my strength, and you have been a constant source of calm. This, despite the endless amount of energy that you need to burn off everyday. And despite the melee. You are my crooked-toothed, chocolate-loving, dimpled, opiate of sadness, my protective blanket against the world and its grandness.
Happy Birthday my sweet.
With all the love in the world, as always,