You’re not a baby anymore, baby. You’re a little man. A wild and wily twister of energy, smart and imaginative, independent and defiant. You make decisions. You weigh outcomes. You are deeply emotionally attached to the world.
You wrote your name last week. Not even three years old yet, and you wrote your name all by yourself, because letters amaze you. When we roll up to stop signs, I hear you in the back seat whispering, “sssss, tuh, ah, puh.” Making the sounds of each one, you teach yourself to read with no more lessons from me than I can give absentmindedly from the front seat. I don’t like braggarts, but you’ll make me one.
A few days ago we walked into the living room together, and you looked around, panicked. “Oh no!” you cried. “Where’s Charlie??” I showed you where she lay sleeping, and you were calmed, and everything was right with the world again. You’ve finally fallen in love with her. It only took four months of shared Moe sessions — Moe is your new word for what you used to call “milk” (or nursing).
Your memory is astounding. You’ve developed a concept of time, and can count the number of sleeps before we go to see your Aunt Francie. Your face smooshes up as you stare down at your fingers, trying desperately to understand how to subtract two from three, and I can see sparks fly above your head as you cross the line from meaningless fingers in the air to a full comprehension of basic math skills. And again, you are not yet three. I guess it really is over.
I am still working full time. Back before Charlie was born, all of my spare time was spent just you and me. But since Charlie got here and my time is split between the two of you, I can’t seem to get enough. My heart aches for both of you every moment that we’re apart. It aches, it aches. I am desperate for you. I cannot shake the feeling that these days are so fleeting, that they are escaping me, they pour through my fingers. The wind picks them up and they’re gone forever. I miss you.
I know that three is still so little. Next month is your birthday. Please, for your birthday, for me, just stop growing up, okay? Let’s just be best friends forever, and forget the rest of the world is out there.
You’ll always be my baby.