Holy crap you’re six! In the six months since my last letter to you, you became a big sister, and a substantially bigger human. Six months ago you were sounding out words and now you’re reading us Robert Munsch books. It’s all going so fast. Every time I see you I stare at you, because I feel like your hands are so big, and your head is so big, and when I pick you up you’re just so big.
Your curiosity is limitless right now, which of course I love. You’ve also inherited your dad’s tendency to obsess over a topic until no one else can stand to hear you talk about it. I’m sorry about that, but not too sorry – it’s a wonderful thing to be curious and I love watching you go through it. Your current obsessions are Volcanoes, Space (particularly planets, dwarf planets, and moons), and so very much Minecraft. You’ve become a catalyst for several other families getting Minecraft set up. You should be earning commission.
You have given us a few scares in the last six months, too. Nothing nasty, just regular kindergarten-is-a-cesspool-of-disease stuff, but in your case that meant a couple weekends in a row of upset stomach and nausea. Seeing you sick is really hard – I spend most of those nights sitting in the armchair in your room while you sleep, just in case another wave hits. So many parents have to go through so much worse; I feel for them in a way I never could before you came along. Having your kid suffer is the worst thing, and I don’t forget how fortunate we are that you are a happy and healthy kid 97% of the time. I hope that will always be true. Even writing this part makes my heart hurt.
I think the biggest change, though, is the kinds of things you want to talk about. The other night you didn’t want to read stories, you wanted me to tell you about Rosa Parks. You learned about her in school but didn’t really understand why she’d be arrested for what she did. A couple weeks ago you were standing on your bed when you should have been asleep, delivering a tirade about how people should be nicer to mother nature. You declared for about 20 minutes that you were vegetarian until you realized it likely meant eating more beans. You have always had a selfless streak, a sense of justice — but it’s becoming such a part of you lately. You have passion about it. It’s beautiful.
I still worry about how you’ll feel about your sister – how the two of you will get along and how you’ll adjust to the shift in attention. I still worry about a lot of things with you. Uncle Rico once described parenting to me that way, before you were born — that you never stopped worrying — and at the time I thought it sounded like a terrible way to live. But I get it now. There is worry – of course there is, you’d worry too if your heart was walking around outside of your body, in the custody of a 6 year old – but there is an amazing fullness there too. Thanks for that.
You’re an incredible kid, but you knew I’d say that. I can’t wait to see what you obsess over next.
PS – You’ve stopped calling me Dad and gone back to Daddy. Thanks for that, too.