boys are dressed in best uptown



1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18 and 21 months old (click for bigger)

Hi there Li’l Luly Lulubeans! I’m exactly one month late in doing this, my every-three-month missive to you (or your future self, I suppose) but it being Valentine’s Day, and you being half of my favorite two chicks in the world, I thought it only appropriate. You are now 21, erm, 22 months old, which is one of those ages I never understood before my child-rearin’ years. To those without kids, I say you’re in that Netherlands “between a year and a half” and “two.”

I’ll cut to the chase. You are a 2’8″ high pressure system. When you’re in the room, by god, everyone feels the pull of your magnetic north. You’re not a shrinking violet, you’re an exploding morning glory, and as goes your moods, so goes the house. Your happiness, which is at full mast 95% of the time, can clear bacteria and illuminate dark corners. Your Russian-novel sadness, which usually occurs in the minutes after you wake from your nap, turns the place into a delving submarine that has lost power. It’s truly impressive.

When you were born, and we were deep in the throes of just getting through the night – much like Sean and Jordana are now – there were two things I wished from you: lots of smooshy kisses and lots of conversation. Now you’re a generous purveyor of both.

’80s night Chez Blake-Williams!

Sometimes we’ll be looking at picture on the internet, or eating broccoli, and out of nowhere, you’ll fix your eyes on mine, and lunge forth with a wet kiss. It is truly an unedited moment, and it is so wonderful that I have completely forgotten that one time you screamed and barfed in my ear for ninety straight minutes when you were 3 weeks old.

Your conversation is amazing, especially since you’re providing it in Spanish as well. You remind me of those tapes we listened to in language class:

“My sweater is green. Mi camisa es verde.” (repeat ten times)

You have developed little crushes on words, particularly “probably,” “maybe” and bizarre uses of the conjunction “or”. When we went next door to see Uncle David, you got on the elevator and said, “I’m probably going to bring maybe toys or other toys.”

You have another tic that is fascinating: you ask us the question you want us to ask you, and then immediately answer it. You’ll march up to me in the living room and say, “you wanna look at pictures of foxes on computer? Okay!” and before I know it, we’re on a Google image search for foxes. Other examples:

“You wanna brush teeth, Lucy? Yeah!”

“¿You sit with Daddo y coma aguacate? Okay!”

The following words or phrases make you double over with laughter: lipstick, bizarre, chair buns, bamboo and BLEAHHHH! Obviously, they are all on heavy rotation.

You are very serious about your tasks, so serious that we have to be careful when we suggest something. Two weeks ago you found the little kiddie potty toilet we’d bought, and instantly ripped off your pants and diaper and sat on the thing for almost an hour trying to get some pee out. It got so frustrating for you (and side-splittingly hilarious for us) that we had to distract you with some new books and hide the potty, lest you blow a gasket. You still mention the potty every once in a while like an old enemy who will get his comeuppance yet.


with Mommy and Rick Gradone (Uncle Ick)

Mostly we’re so happy to see you that your mom and I go straight to withdrawal symptoms pretty quickly. I was in Colorado this weekend, and every two hours I’d get that longing pang in my stomach, the feeling that I need to see my Lucybeans.

Already, I can’t imagine letting you out of my sight for more than a few days, but I know that’s the whole point of our existence. We are here to make sure you leave us, in about seventeen years, as happy as possible. I think far into the future, and assuming no major catastrophe and our luck holding, I am still going to miss the last half of your life. The best I can hope for is to see you turn forty-five or so, and then we will drop out of the picture. It’s an existential sadness too intense to contemplate, and yet so natural and beautiful.

As Morrissey sang, “Will the world end in the night time? I really don’t know. Will the world end in the daytime? I really don’t know… all I do know is we’re Here and it’s Now” … and here I am, still rocking you to sleep, singing “Little Buglet” and waiting for the little shudder in your feet that tells me you’ve finally drifted into dreams. They were right at the baby shower, my little love; the years go by so quick, but the days last forever.

– Daddo


0 thoughts on “boys are dressed in best uptown

  1. Anne

    She is truly wondrous, Ian. I know someday she will treasure all your paeans to her as she grew up. I have a few “letters to my daughter” that my late dad wrote to me on birthdays, or once when I had my appendix out at age 12, and they gain meaning for me with each year that passes.
    OK. Cut to the chase: When can we start obnoxiously pressuring you and Tessa to produce another little miracle? Ha ha ha ha – sorry, I *am* a grandma IRL and can’t resist.
    “Aguacate” is one of my favorite words in español, BTW. Not to mention one of my favorite things to “comer.”

  2. Claudia

    In most of her pictures, I think that Lucy resembles Tessa, but in that last one, Ian, she looks so much like you!

  3. Annie

    Okay, so I just watched this video AGAIN, and what is killing me is the more and more Lucy repeats the arm motion (flap, flap–Flock of Seagulls, indeed) the more it becomes this uncontrollable reflex…i.e., after she completes her series of “rug jumps” and runs over into the adjoining room, she has this empty moment–face blank, slightly swaying–but in the meantime her arms resume a-pumpin (woing, woing…woing) just absent of will.
    It’s KILLING me!


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