Lily: Eight

Hi sweets,

I miss you. A few weeks ago we all went to Mexico. You had a blast and so did we, but after a week of uninterrupted time together, it’s always hard to go back to the some-days-on, some-days-off schedule we have. B, who has even less patience, feels it every time you’re away, and still shouts your name every time the doorbell rings.

I was talking to a friend the other day who’s going through a divorce, and they asked about it. About how it felt to move out, to not be in the house your kid lives in half the time. Your mom and I split earlier than many folks our age, so I’ve answered that question for a lot of friends over the years. My answer is always the same: it’s awful. It’s awful and it doesn’t really ever stop being awful. That doesn’t mean it can’t also be the right call — I know it was for us. And I know that you have two amazing and loving homes and I am so happy with how comfortable you are in each of them. How much each of them is really yours. But I still feel the gaps so deeply, even years later, and wouldn’t wish it on any parent.

I’m not moping, though. We see each other a lot and I love that time. The other day we were talking about crushes, over pizza. You explained that a crush is “when you love someone so much but they don’t love you back or maybe even know.” I asked if you’d ever had a crush. (You have.) You said no. (You’re incorrect.) But, you said, “even though I’ve never had a crush I think some people have had crushes on me.” Well I wouldn’t know about that, kiddo, but it’s clear to me already that 8 is not the same as 7 1/2.

Speaking of 7 1/2, since my last letter to you a lot has changed with our business. The book came out, and became a best seller. You don’t care about book sales, but you find the title hilarious and keep asking to see it again and then giggling. Swears are a hot topic in the house right now and we’re talking a lot about how to use words carefully and why words can upset some people more than others.

Melissa and I love the work we’re doing for RSG. We get such an energy off of it, and off the impact we have. We truly feel like we’re making work better, Lil, and that’s exactly what we wanted to do. We’re starting to make offers on office space and I hope that my next letter will be able to treat that as a done deal.

Speaking of next letters, I’ve been thinking about these. The first kids in your class are starting to get their own smartphones. In a few years I imagine the tide will have fully engulfed your peer group, and I don’t want these letters to be a thing that someone uses to tease you. Right now my plan is to keep writing them until you’re 10, and then get your opinion about what to do with them. I didn’t know, when I started writing them, whether I’d keep it up or not. But every 6 months as your birthday (or half-birthday) comes up and I think about it, I can’t imagine not writing one. I imagine 10 will feel that way, too.

For your 8th birthday you asked about learning to program, and learning to pick locks. I’m gonna go figure out whether it’s legal to buy lockpicks in Ontario or whether we need to first teach you how to make your own. In a few days you’re back at our place. I’m really looking forward to it.

Love you kid,

Daddy

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