My sweet darling, wonderful little Lucybug:
Last week, without any of us knowing it, you turned fifteen months old. Admittedly, when it get past a year, the “every three months” thing starts to get a little silly (along with mothers introducing us to their “twenty-five-month olds” – sheesh) but I wrote to you every season of your first year, and I thought I’d do so again.
I won’t say much, because words barely express the kind of joy you spread around each world you stumble upon. Sure, you have an “annoyance scream” that sets off car alarms three counties away, but most of the time you run around with your hands in the air, babbling happy new-found syllables of increasing complexity.
I started a list of words you were using, but I gave up, because you repeat everything and know shit we never taught you. The other day, I decided to test you and asked where my “lips” were. You grabbed my mouth and laughed. I have no idea where you could have learned this, other than “the street.”
above: with her Grandpa. below: with her great-great Auntie Donna
We’re starting to get invitations from people we don’t know – playmates from your afternoons in the park, boys from the Kidnasium (which sounds, to me, like “kidney museum”). I come home from a day in the writing cellar to find your scribbles pasted to the refrigerator by your babysitter Laura, along with little objets d’art. You are having this experience completely outside of me and your mother, and it’s obvious you’re learning both Spanish and English in miles per second.
About the Spanish thing. Laura is Hispanic, and your mom is fluent, but I have no idea what the hell any of you are saying. I do know, however, that you say “fruta” wrong, because it’s a little rude to scream “PUTA!” at the nice Mexican ladies who are selling fruit at the Farmer’s Market.
When you learn new words and squeal with delight – like you did this weekend with “buildings,” “truck,” “signs” and “outside” – it’s like I’m experiencing the nascent joy of language right there with you. When you grabbed my racquet and said “tennis,” we both jumped up and down and danced.
You eat everything in sight but seem to gain no weight. Your mother says it’s like living with a teenager on the high school football team. The only thing you don’t seem to like is cheese, but it doesn’t stop you from saying it all the time. I understand, I love saying “cheese” too. It just feels right, doesn’t it?
I could do without the constant wardrobe changing – ever since you learned the concept of “off,” you want to try on everything you own in rapid succession. It really becomes an opera, especially with shoes. Sometimes I’ll be rocking you to sleep, and you’ll be silent for ten minutes, then suddenly look deep into my eyes and say “shooooes…” dejectedly. It’s truly sad, but I always laugh so hard that we have to start all over.
People ask us about being parents, and whether or not we like it, and we’re always a bit cagey with our response. This rigmarole is not for everybody, and I admit, even with extensive training and a huge sea-shift in my circadian rhythms, the mornings are still agony. You need the patience of Job, Ruth and Lot. I know several people who should not even consider it. But what we can say is this: we’re not sure about being parents, but we absolutely LOVE being your parent.
What was it we used to say when looking for a date in college? Smart, funny, and relatively cute? Well, you seem smart enough, and I suppose you’re something of a cutie-boots, but JESUS ABOVE you make us laugh ALL DAY LONG. And for that, I’d like to thank you most of all.