Letter: Month Twenty-Seven

Dear E,

I can't wait for winter to end. This winter you've come down with cold after cold with a bout flu and a stomach bug thrown in for good measure. Between your being sick and me having a crazy time at work this month was kind of hard. To be honest, you ended up watching a lot of tv while I was working. You still like Yo Gabba Gabba but your new favorite is The Wonder Pets. You have the words to your favorite episode memorized which to be honest is a little unsettling.

Fortunately my big project at work has wrapped up and so this week I've been trying to make up for neglecting you the last few weeks. On Monday we went to the farm and you had a blast feeding corn to the animals. At first you were a little shy but by the end you were sticking your hand up to the goats and shrieking with delight when they licked your fingers. And yesterday I took you the park to swing and play on the slide. There was still snow on the ground but you wrapped your fingers around the chains and exclaimed "wee!" as I pushed you higher and higher. Watching the joy beam from your face made me feel like pushing you on the swing for hours and hours. (But I didn't because it was cold and even something like that gets old after twenty minutes.)

There was a night this last month when you had been sick and needy all day, work had been difficult, and the house was in disarray. I was wheeling the trash cans out to the street curb and I stopped to look up at the sky. It was a clear night and the stars seemed distant but friendly. I took a deep breath and suddenly all my complaints receded and were replaced with gratitude for having a son, a job, a house. I need to work at hanging on to that gratitude more often.

You've been really funny lately. Once you learned about animals and shapes we started teaching you counting. Right now you skip some numbers though and usually count "two, three, four, five, six, eight, ten!" We were all in the car together and your dad and I were trying to get you to say "one" and "nine" when your dad remarked that you seemed to dislike odd numbers. You promptly exclaimed "five!" and "three!" and it was funny and weird. I know you don't know what odd numbers are; it was just one of those little funny moments of being a parent.

Sometimes you try and use your new counting skills for evil, though. If you're messing with something you know you shouldn't be and we tell you not to touch it you immediately put a sweet look on your face and start pointing to the object and counting, "two, three, four, five, six..." We fall for it every time and can't help but laugh.