My Dear Son,
When you are finished tormenting your sister I’d like to talk with you about what happens today. Today you become two years old.
Your second year with us has been a year of incredible change. You are growing rapidly, getting stronger and faster with each season. Our play has become a little rougher, too. You grab and pull and stomp on me with reckless enthusiasm, climbing Mt. Dad to get a better seat for watching movies, reading books, and sharing snacks. Unfortunately, you are also grabbing and pulling and stomping on your sister, which has resulted in your first experience with “time outs”.
At this age you have a desire to partake in everything I am doing. You are right in that window of time where I can get you to help me with chores. All I have to do is put one block in the bag and you’re quick to grab and slam as many blocks as you can into the bag. It gets a little extreme, though. If I set my drink down you immediately pick it up and hand it back to me with a “Ere, Dad…” Seriously, stop that.
I know this stage won’t last. I often wish I could make a copy of you as you are right now. Then when you’re 13 and would rather be out with your friends than with lame old Dad, I could break out that copy and have my two-year-old buddy again. That buddy smiles a lot, wants to be held and hugs me with all of his might. He helps me clean the house, do the laundry, and alert me when there is a cat on the kitchen counter.
You Are Such A Boy
Before you get too big of a head over this I do have to say that living with you sometimes feels like living with a goat. You are cute but often smelly; a walking, talking crap factory that blurts random, loud noises, and will eat anything resembling food no matter how long it has been on the floor. That’s mostly because your appetite is still as big as you. I have to give you food one bite at a time. If I put ten pieces of chicken in front of you, you will put all ten pieces in your mouth at once.
During this past year you have slowly changed from a bumbling toddler into a little boy and engage with the world like a boy should: you bash your head, trip over your own feet, spill drinks, throw food, shout in restaurants, kick your legs while I’m changing your overloaded diaper, pull sister’s hair, fall out of your bed, slam doors, tackle the cats, run around naked, and fall asleep just about anywhere.
During your first two years you have brought me immense joy. You can take the dreariest of chores and turn it into a game that leaves both of us laughing. Your desire to connect with me and others is inspiring, lifting me up in the lowest of times. You never hesitate to give a hug and smooch to those you love. Your infectious laugh is the laugh of pure joy and I sometimes tickle you just because I need to hear that laugh when I am feeling overwhelmed by life.
What Lies Ahead
Your world is changing but you are too young to notice. I wish I could connect with you in a way that would allow me to explain why things are the way they are now. At this point I can only smile and hold you as tight as I can, hoping you can feel what I can’t say.
But if I could get you to understand one concept it would be this: I will never stop trying to be the best father I can be. I will never stop doing everything a man does for his son. I will never, ever stop.
From this moment until the end of my days I will always be on your side.
Today we celebrate you, my bright and handsome son. Happy Birthday my little Monkey Man, my Duncan Philip.