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Good morning. This week is about one thing: Rose’s birthday. I’ve been reflecting on it for a while now, and I wanted to write her a letter. It was harder than I thought trying to put all these feelings into words, and even what I landed on still doesn’t match how I feel. Also, now that Rose is two, this will be the last week I feature her photo at top of the newsletter. Hope this letter finds you well.
I’ve been thinking about the words I would write to you today, on your special day, and how to articulate all of this for you. Being your dad, it feels heavy, but also delicate. There’s so much weight behind all of this. Your little mind and heart. I know it’s up to me to shape them. The significance of that lives with me each day. These first two years went by way too fast, and that scares me. I try my best to stay as present as possible with you. Life can be so busy, and it’s easy to get wrapped up in whatever each day brings. But for you, time is only now. And that motivates me to be better. Watching you live in the moment helps me live in the moment too.
I love the way you learn and how good your memory is. Because of this, I’m always thinking of different things to teach you. Almost every word I say to you, I ask you to repeat it. It takes longer, but I feel like that patience is paying off. Your vocabulary and the way you process the world is very advance already.
“Hello. My name’s Rose.” You’ve been learning to say that when you meet new people. We walk to the coffee shop most mornings to get you a scrambled egg and an apple juice. This is where I help you become social and interact with the world around you. I bring two pocket notebooks, one for me and one for you, and I journal while you color.
We also bring a few books for you to read while we’re there too. I made the decision when you were very young to give you more books than toys. And as we expected, you played with the books like they were toys. You now flip through your books all day. It’s your favorite thing to do.
Hearing you correct yourself when you say the wrong thing is cool to see. You’ll say “Watermelon.” And I’ll reply, “That’s not a watermelon, that’s a strawberry.” You reply, “Yea, strawberry. That’s not watermelon.” Or when you mixed up your Z with N. “Yea that’s not N. That’s Z.”
These are just little snapshots of what life is like with you right now. I want to capture these moments before they fade away. You’ll be bigger soon, and these snapshots will be replaced by new ones. The person I’m writing to today will be much different tomorrow. And that’s what keeps repeating in my mind as I watch you grow. Not to take any of this for granted. Every day with you is special. All the little details. I’m thankful for them all.
Being your dad is the greatest gift life has ever given me. Happy Birthday.