Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy 3rd Birthday, Andrew

Dear Andrew. How has another year flown by? Happy birthday, my sweet boy.

I started this letter 6 weeks ago, when we had your early birthday party. And I'm tying up loose ends a few days after your birthday. You've had quite the epic birthday, my boy! You deserve every extra minute of celebration.

I remember looking at you when you were so new and tiny, thinking: This is going to be a remarkable young man. And now, you are all of 3 years old....so, so tiny still!...and already, I can say with confidence that you ARE a remarkable young man.

Folding your clothes sometimes, I'm struck by the miniature size. It seems almost impossible that so much spirit, so much life, so much personality can fit into those teeny tiny underwear. Or that this little person with these alarmingly wise insights ("When Grandma Lynn died, did her body just come off of her?") can't get socks to go on straight without help.

There's so much contrast and contradiction at age 2. That drive to evolve, to become independent...and then the primal need for mother and dependency. I saw that struggle in you, and while I ached for you some days about that inner conflict, it was also beautiful to watch. You were coming into who you were supposed to be. It was such important work you were doing!

Oh, we had some hard days. But in the true cycle of evolving spirit, that struggle always ended in some triumph. Crying about wanting to buckle the car seat yourself, even when you couldn't? The one day, you got it! The pride in your face when it snapped closed for you... I couldn't have been prouder of you if you'd won the Nobel Prize.

Now here you are at 3. You are articulate and damn funny. You get that from your dad. He is wicked smart and can create these incredible insights that are hysterically funny because they are so true. I see that in you. The intuition, the intelligence, the mastery of situations.

We were watching a movie the other day, snuggled on the couch. There was an important scene, so I asked if we could stay quiet during it. A few minutes later I said to you, "I love you, Andrew. It's nice being here with you." And you whispered to me, with no trace of irritation: "Why is it okay for you to talk and not me?" I'd forgotten to tell you the scene was over, I guess. But what I loved about that moment was that you were information-gathering, not impatient one bit about the double-standard. You have a gentle way of handling people that I respect so much.

I have always, from the time you were a babe, admired your intense drive towards evolution. To become better, bigger, older. Whether it was cracking your own eggs for breakfast or toilet training freakishly early, you weren't going to be stopped just because you were young.

You love your Montessori class. Going there by yourself, without Jack or Simone, nurtures your need to be a Big Kid. And you love coming home with a picture you drew for me...always presented with a bigger-than-life gusto. The picture is usually irrelevant to you...but making it for me makes you so excited. Usually it has some permutation of Spiderman, even if it's completely abstract. You label all your scribbles "a spiderweb." :)

Your dream is to become a superhero. You're drawn to the physical strength...the ability to fix situations...and helping people. I see your dad in you there too: the strong sense of justice, the desire to make the world better. And since your dad is an Ironman, you probably have the physical nature there too. :) You know, I really DO believe you have superhero in you. How you harness that as you get older, I can't wait to see.

I am really excited about you, Andrew. I am really excited for you. I love who you're becoming. I love who you are. I love who you're going to be. There is no way I could be disappointed in you, no matter who or what you become. Because I see how you treat people. How much love is in you. What a kind spirit you have and the absolute love for your family.

If you have those things, you can never go wrong.

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