Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dear Boy


Today you are 2 and 1/3 years old. Or 28 months. Or 854 days. It seems nearly impossible that it has been that many days since you first laid eyes on this world, so many nights that I've listened to you breathe, so many memories. In some ways, I know you as though you have always been here. The dip in your chin, the curve of your belly, the exact shape of your scar, the perfect sound of your voice. In other ways, you are surprising me and reinventing yourself every day. You talk like there is no tomorrow and every word must be learned today. You master skills and concepts with ease and I wonder how my baby--my newborn--can climb onto counter tops and comprehend negotiation.

You still take several naps a week but have been choosing to refrain from them often. This leads me to believe that there is a lot of me up in that brain of yours. You love your GeoTrax DVD more than Nemo right now and find "ghost trains" wherever we go. Anything with a cover suddenly becomes a ghost train and we have to watch the 20 minute video at least once a day--usually twice. You also love marshmallows and ask for them several times a day. It should be pointed out that just because you ask does not mean you receive. The day that you stop referring to them as "ma-ma-os" and start calling them marshmallows, however, is the day I say goodbye to my baby altogether.

We're moving to a new house this weekend. If someone would have told me when I graduated from college that I'd miss my five year reunion because I'd be moving from one town in Utah to another with my toddler in tow, well, I'd have been surprised to say the least. Garrett, before I left to live on campus at that institution, I had lived in two homes in my entire life. At a precious 2 and a 1/3 you will have lived in three. I'm sorry that we haven't been able to give you the kind of deep, twisty roots I am accustomed to and therefore desire for you. But, you are adventurous and I think there is a fair amount of your father up in that brain of yours as well. I tried to explain that we are moving and now, every five minutes, you ask if we can go to the new house. I think I will mourn the loss of this house much more than you will. We made the decision to move closer to the church and save a little on rent but it doesn't change the fact that we spent our very first night in Utah here. And it doesn't change the fact that you learned to talk and sprint and feed yourself with a fork and spoon in this house. This is where you experienced snow for the first time and where we brought you after you had surgery. So even if you are always looking for an adventure, I'm sorry for uprooting your little life--again. And no, honey, contrary to what you might be thinking, your "Rampa" is not going to be waiting for you at the "ew house". But we will have Thanksgiving and Christmas there and I promise to make it feel like home in a matter of days and I assure you that if you are feeling displaced, your dog and cat will be downright neurotic.

This morning, when I went to pick you up after MOPS, I couldn't find you. I scanned the room of toddler heads for that perfectly fuzzy reddish blond head. The one that smells like Johnson & Johnson's and dreams come true and, on occasion, dirty sweaty two-year-old. I couldn't find you, though. There was a sea of blond pigtails and brown braids and red buzzes and black little boy cuts but your head was no where. One of the helpers asked me who my child was. I told her that it was you. She pointed to a little boy at her feet. "He's right here," she offered. The back to me had your name on it. First and last. But it wasn't you. It was a little brown haired boy and the shape of his head was all wrong. I continued to scan the room, curious as to why he had your name tag. She offered again, "Here's Garrett. Right here." I answered her that the boy was not my son. I don't overreact in situations like that but I was starting to feel my heart beat a bit faster. Where were you and why were they trying to convince me that a different boy was you? Just then you crawled out of a tunnel where you'd been hiding and ran to me, all smiles and excitement and just waiting for the piece of candy I promised you could have if you avoided tears when I left you there. Somehow you had given your sticker to Reese. But, like I said, every part of you is emblazoned in my mind. I'd know you from Reese with a blindfold on.

We stood by the car when we left and I told you to put your hands on it while I fished for my keys. You are usually very good at this and, though it looks like you're getting arrested, it's been highly effective for teaching you not to run into the street. Until today. You stood for a few moments with your hands on the door and then you bolted. I noticed the car coming out of the corner of my eye and I screamed bloody murder for you to stop. And you did. Praise God that my shriek stopped you cold, two feet from the front of the oncoming car. Garrett John, two feet is way too close for you to get to an oncoming vehicle. My heart practically stopped in my chest and I think I very nearly went into cardiac arrest in the parking lot. And then you got an ear full. Did. You. Ever.

Son, my heart is wrapped around your little finger. Oh, there are times when I want to drop kick you across the room but, even in those times, you are my answered prayers walking around in Velcro shoes and a striped sweater. You are a little bit daddy and a little bit me and entirely yourself. I don't think I have ever been more terrified than I was when I thought you weren't going to stop. Thank you for listening when I yelled. If you could continue that trend it would make for easier teenage years. I love you more than I ever thought possible--



  1. I never thought of telling my son to assume the position while I did one thing or another and kept him waiting to get into the car. Brilliant!

    We moved when my son was about five months old, and even though we hadn't seen nearly as many milestones at that point, it was heart-wrenching to leave behind the house I'd brought him home to. I hope the move goes smoothly!

  2. Awe, good luck with your move. And I hope Garrett does continue to listen to you :O)

  3. You are going to put that letter in his scrapbook, right? It's lovely. J

  4. Though I completely understand, we will miss you tomorrow at the reunion... and I will share with all who ask... that you are moving and have one handsome little 2 1/3 year old.

  5. Beautiful letter, sentiments, images.

    Best wishes for your move.