Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Pond

(11 months)

Dear Trevor,

We have been to The Pond several times in the last week, and it is always a great time for us both. The Pond is the swimming hole made by damming a stream on the Waldorf School property. There is diving at one end and a great, sandy beach running the length of one side. You love the water and the sand. You don't understand yet about the slope of the bottom, so you go fearlessly in and I have to stop you before the water goes over your head. I'm pleased that you like the water. As a child there was no place I would rather be than at the beach or a swimming pool. You are such a lot of fun to be with on the beach. Everything interests you, even the taste of sand. You are developing fine shoveling skills. This happens during the same period you are exploring the manipulation of a spoon vis-à-vis food on a dish. I think you may have gotten the context confused. This occurs to me when you put a shovelful of sand in your mouth. What a face you make. I carry you into the water to wash your mouth, laughing all the way. You don't complain or cry, but you are happy to get the sand out.

The Pond is also a wonderful place for spotting airplanes. You have developed a habit of pointing at them. You spot them, and then track them across the sky. Smiling all the way. At first I didn’t get it. You point to the sky, I look up, there is nothing there and I look away. I learn pretty quickly that you hear them before anyone else does and before they are visible. You point, look at me and your mom, and pretty soon a plane appears. We are always pleased to be informed there is a plane in the vicinity.

Love, Daddy

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hurt Feelings

(3 years, 7 months)

Dear Trevor,

Night before last Mommy left us and fell asleep on the couch. Usually we sleep, me, mommy, you, and the barrier. So now it’s just me, you, and the barrier. You are unusually restive, or maybe I just don't know how you usually sleep, as your Mommy is always between us. At least until she sprints for work. Anyway, several times during the night I wake up with your feet kicking me in the side. I moved you over to your side and you don't wake up, or you do briefly and snuggled into the barrier and fall quickly asleep. Then, some time in the middle of the night, you crawled up to me, and in a move typical for you, press your head against mine. I adjusted. Then you rose up off the pillow and in repositioning your head bang your skull into mine. You do not seem to mind these head banging encounters, but I, groggy, and a little surly, am annoyed. I lift you none too gently and heave you over to your side again. This time you don't go right to sleep. You toss around a bit before getting up and going to Mommy in the living room. You tell her, ‘Daddy moved me over and he hurt my feelings.’

She says, ‘You'll have to tell him in the morning.’

You wake me up in the morning by saying, ‘Daddy, are you awake?’

You’re kneeling by my head, sitting on your heels when I open my eyes. I smile at you. You say, ‘You hurt my feelings when you moved me over last night.’

I remember the incident, and I remembered my annoyance. It didn't seem to me that I had been that much rougher than the previous times I had moved you, but there it was. You got it. You'd felt my impatience, and your understanding was dead on. It's not easy to be called to account for irritability first thing in the morning. I say, ‘When I moved you over to your side of the bed, I hurt your feelings.’

You say, ‘Yes.’

I say, I'm sorry I hurt your feelings.’

You say, ‘That's okay.’

I say, ‘Come here.’

I lay on my side. You put your head down next to mine, and roll into me, pressing your back against my chest. You grab my upside ear and began to fondle it. You say, ‘I like your ears, all the time.’

Love, Daddy

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


(3 years 6 months)

Dear Trevor,

The other morning you were standing between my knees when you asked where my daddy was. I have no idea what prompted the question. I said, ‘My daddy is dead.’

You said, ‘Oh, I'm sorry.’

I said, ‘Thank you. But you don't have to be sorry. My father was old when he died. Everything dies. If it lives, someday it will die.’

You asked, ‘Will you die?’

I said, ‘Someday.’

You asked, ‘Will Mommy die?’

I said, ‘Yes, someday.’

‘And I'll be all alone,’ you said,

I said, ‘You don't have to be concerned about that now. It won't happen for a long time. And when it does, we think you will be ready and able to take care of yourself. After all, being a child is just one step on a wonderful road of experience and achievement. When that happens, you will be a man. And it is a wonderful thing to be a man. Just as you now see it is a wonderful thing to be a child.’

You nodded.

You walked away and got involved in your trains.

Love, Daddy