It’s been a busy time since my last letter to you! We just got back from our honeymoon and we’re pretty excited for the weekend since we haven’t gotten to hang out with you since the wedding.
You were amazing. During rehearsals you fidgeted and had trouble staying put and we adults all basically agreed that if you needed to run around during the actual ceremony we were just going to have to get right with that. But when the day came, you were a total pro. You walked with me down the aisle, and held my hand, and stuck with us through the whole thing. It was your one request, when we first told you that we were engaged: you wanted to be the one standing with us. I don’t know what precisely that meant to you, but it meant an awful lot to the two of us.
Your dress is, of course, destroyed. This tells us that you had a good time.
The other thing going on in your life, that you already know but most other folk don’t yet, is that you’re going to be a big sister. This is another one of those things that parents get really nervous about but that you totally sailed through. When we told you, you jumped up and down on the couch. You were so excited that you weren’t going to be an “only kid” anymore. And now you tell us how you’re going to teach the baby everything. The other day you ran up to a stranger at Ikea and said, “You know what? My step-mom’s not fat! There’s a baby in her tummy!”
So that was helpful.
In a few weeks you start senior kindergarten which means moving to a big kid school and being the smallest class around instead of the biggest class at your preschool/junior kindergarten. This makes my heart clenchy. Sometimes already you come home with stories of someone being a bully or someone not liking you and I have all kinds of feelings about it that I try not to let you see since this is normal and you’ve got to figure it out for yourself. But it’s not easy. I heard a quote once from a writer named Elizabeth Stone that sums it up beautifully in a way that I really didn’t understand until I was a parent. She says,
“Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
It’s so true. Watching you grow and run around and scrape your knees and hurt your heart and figure out how to say hello to an older kid and deal with disputes and try to stay awake at a party to be a big kid when it’s way past your bedtime. All of it feels like it acts directly on my chest – it’s so forceful, potent. I’m so proud of the kid you’ve become and the person you’re becoming and the way you handle everything that comes your way.
I love you, Lil,
PS – You’ve started calling me Dad. What’s that about?