to my son, a week and a half after your second birthday

Dear Sequel,

On this day we ate cake. And because I forgot to take the camera out of manual mode this is quite literally the only shot from that day that isn't blurry. (Photographer shall remain unnamed.)
On this day we ate cake. And because I forgot to take the camera out of manual mode this is quite literally the only shot from that day that isn’t blurry. (Photographer shall remain unnamed.)

Typically I would write you this letter on your actual birthday, but let’s be honest. You’re my lovely, squishy second born and I am just trying to make sure you make it to the other side of your childhood without your sister covering you in glitter and Sharpie. And with a relatively affordable therapy bill.

So, here we are – nine days later. Unfortunately, this is what happens when you have to share the sun and shade with another child, little guy. Hopefully these experiences will motivate you to stay out of middle management.

You bring so much… energy to our home. We only hold you accountable for 75% of the damage done to our hardwood, walls, and upholstery because we understand we shouldn’t give you things – any things – without expecting you to use them as weapons of mass destruction.

You are creative. I am not sure how we didn’t realize the stairwell needed accents of chicken scratched yellow before you were able to wield a crayon. And just the other day I was remarking how great the window sill looked with all of the paint peeled off. Luckily it tested negative for lead, so we hope it at least tasted good.

You are strong. Hardly a day goes by without a demonstration of your physical strength. Those head butts, they hurt, but we are confident that with as much practice as you’re getting in you will one day be able to deliver them without you breaking down in tears as well. We are also surprised that you can dead-lift your sister, whom you only outweigh by two pounds.

You are soft. Before you came along I was always jealous when my friends would tell me about how cuddly their boys were, while your sister would much prefer we sit side-by-side and interact in a much more civilized manner. Then we had you, and each day I look forward to when you wake up, climb into our bed, and curl up to watch Curious George. It is the only reason I don’t wake like a sleeping dragon, and it definitely helps that you are like a memory-foam mattress – I just sink right in when I give you a squeeze.

You are a problem solver. Not to compare you to your sister, but yes to compare you to your sister, we never really considered the childproofing on the cabinets and drawers a riddle to be solved before you came along. But you accepted the unspoken challenge and triumphed. Now I am not sure where to put my cleaning supplies because they’ve always been under the sink, and Mommy’s OCD can’t handle them not being under the sink.

You are all boy. Before we had you I always believed that gender was a construct, created and perpetuated by society because that’s how society rolls. (Did I mention I studied at a private liberal arts university?) It wasn’t long until I realized I was wrong. No matter what toy I give you, your battery of tests are 100% boy: taste it, see if it rolls like a car, and then see if it bounces, because everything is either food, a car, or a ball. I imagine it will turn into a rousing game of “Will it float?” because your Dad is a Letterman guy. (I much prefer Jimmy Fallon, but I also have really good taste.)

But most of all, you bring laughter and joy to our home. By your facial expressions alone I can tell you will understand Mommy’s sarcasm, Daddy’s dry humor, and your sister’s awful original knock-knock jokes. You know just when to roll your eyes and throw shade – your comedic timing is impeccable.

You bring us so much love, and as long as you stop trying to surreptitiously grab my wine glass I can’t wait to experience each footfall of the next year with you and our little family.

Thank you for becoming 50% of the reason Mommy drinks,

Mrs SmartyPants



One thought on “to my son, a week and a half after your second birthday

  1. Your “you are all boy” paragraph speaks directly to my heart! I, too, ought it was fully a construct … until greeting my own two sons, and watching how girls and boys develop even in lost completely gender neutral environments!

    Many smiles from this. 🙂

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