As I am sitting here writing this, you are building a tower out of things we just went and bought from the grocery store. Although I know this will topple and probably cause some tears, I am trying my best to let you experience these things and let you learn from your experiences. Daddy sometimes has to help me remember this.
This is (I believe) the first time I have been late writing to you. Sometimes life just gets to be a lot and we all need to decide what is most important and focus on that. This will also be the 2nd letter (because the first was when you were only 2 months old and I was in the hospital) that pictures and/or a video won’t be accompanying my letter. I didn’t want to let a month pass without taking some time to document what has gone on, but I also don’t want to make a huge production of it. So let me assure you, you are growing and thriving like no other.
Your speech is coming along. You love talking and we can understand about half of what you say. You certainly understand ALL of what you are saying and we understand you want us to understand everything too. This month has been very special because we have done lots of stuff, just the 2 of us. Today we went shopping, I took you through the car wash for the first time (which you were equal parts scared, excited, and just wondrous about this new experience), we went to the post office, and then for a treat.
We read together at least once each day. You have a pop-up dinosaur book that you love to read. On the last page there is a huge pop-up T-Rex and we take time “ROARING” and scaring each other. You are always on the go and if Daddy and I don’t keep up with you, you get very frustrated. Right now you are running around, full speed, yelling “VROOM, VROOM” with a hanger in your hands, high above your head. You may be a car or a plane, it’s hard to tell, and you have no time to stop and explain it to me. You are also able to do so many things, like put on your own hat. This may seem small and insignificant, but it is a big thing, and even though it takes you 5 times longer then it would take to put it on you, it’s important that you get that time. I often ask where your belly is, you lift up your shirt and I give you raspberries, and we laugh together.
I have had a hard month with things at work and at home. I wish that I could promise you a life without hard times, but I can’t protect them from you anymore than I can stop winter coming to Minnesota in December. I can tell you that after what seems like forever, spring does come. And even though it tries to sneak in without being noticed and the grass is still brown, everything is dirty from melting snow, and it is too cold and wet to really go play at the park or even take a walk, it is the best time of year. It is the smell of the rain, the smell of the promise of sun and beautiful weather to come. I believe that the spring (as ugly it can be) is even more lovely because of the harsh, cold, windy winter that we have just been through. And only the strongest can survive the dark times to appreciate the beautiful sun that finally rises. I can’t imagine that people who live where it is green and beautiful all year long can have the same appreciation of the brown grass and melting snow that means that spring is just around the corner. And when we hear that bird sing, it was all worth it and it gives us the strength to do it again the next year.
For me, this is how life has been. The hard times have been hard. There is no avoiding that. If you keep moving forward, head down, persistent, you will get through it. And although it is difficult, if not impossible at the time to see any meaning, when the hard times passes, there is a reason. And you are a better and stronger person for going through it. So even though I can’t protect you from these times, I believe it is the grace with which we pass through and the lessons learned that really define who we are.