We’ve had a couple of big days over the last month or so that I haven’t addressed on the blog. In fact, since my last two posts were both sports-related and I haven’t been writing as consistently, it’s now been two full months since I’ve actually written directly about fatherhood. I’ll admit, I was tempted to write another sports post this week, in the wake of the Chicago Blackhawks winning their third Stanley Cup in six years and establishing themselves as a dynasty in today’s salary cap era. But I’m still pretty proud of the post I wrote when they won their second Cup two years ago and I didn’t think it was worth trying to top it. (I will say, though, that I appreciated you not having stomach issues during this championship run. It certainly made watching the Cup-clinching game 6 a lot more enjoyable.)
But, as I was saying, my birthday came and went, your preschool moving up ceremony came and went, your birthday came and went, your birthday party came and went, and still, nothing. I’m sorry for not writing more often; I’m hoping to get back on track now that summer has started and I actually have a little more time to think. Plus, Sunday is Father’s Day, so I figured I should probably try to write something, seeing as this is supposed to be a blog about being a parent.
I find myself thinking a bit more often around these kinds of milestone days. It’s not usually anything too intense; I don’t spend hours contemplating my own mortality, for instance, although I’ll admit to experiencing a passing thought or two about heady concepts like legacies and traditions and opportunities, both wasted and fulfilled. Over the last few weeks, though, I’ve found myself focusing more than anything on admiring the wonderful little person you are and the ways you continue to grow every day. I don’t think I’ve fully grasped the concept that you’re actually three years old now, but there is no denying that you hardly even seem like the same person you were a year ago. The shape sorters and board books are long gone, replaced by newer – and noisier – toys a few times over by now. You really understand what it is to play now, as opposed to just fiddling with a shiny object as a way to occupy your time. You race cars, build castles and the people in your doll house have conversations. You wear your stethoscope with pride as you check for Mommy’s or my heartbeat and you can “read” your books on your own after they have only been read to you a handful of times. You fill me with pride – and some fear, but mostly pride – when you rip line drives just past my ear. And, I know your mom and I get to take most of the credit for raising you this way, but I still marvel at your resiliency; whenever you fall, you pop back up, throw your arms out and yell, “Safe!” Even as tears are streaming down your face, you look at Mommy and me and cry/say, “I’m okay!”
The things that have not changed are your tenderness and your caring nature. You snuggle with Mommy when she isn’t feeling well and you give hugs to your friends when they are upset. You miss the people you don’t get to see very often and, though I wish you didn’t have to, you’re starting to understand loss. You know when people need help and you do an excellent job of being there. Your sense of humor is growing every day, too, as evidenced by the fact that you laughed when I told you your first official “dad joke” and the way you try to make people smile when they need it. You remember everything, which can admittedly be annoying sometimes for your mom and me, but is an amazing asset for your ability to relate to your friends and the world around you.
I know that there is probably plenty of time for me to think more about the lessons I’m teaching you, both consciously and unconsciously, but that will happen more over time. At this point, I wanted to just take stock of where we’ve been and where we are at. Your mom and I love you more than we know how to say. I hope you won’t ever forget that, but even if you do, we’ll make sure to remind you.
Happy birthday, congratulations on finishing your first year of preschool and we hope you enjoyed your birthday party. And thank you for being you.