everything small is just a small version of something big- now you understand everything!

December 13, 2011

Dear Jude,

825 days, 19,805 hours. That's how long you've been with us, on the outside anyway. I had to do much the maths because I've kind of stopped counting. It's a largish number, even though it only adds up to 2.25 years, but the largishness suits you. It feels like you've always been here. I don't mean 'you' like your physical form, or 'you' like your mythical presence as part of our family, I mean YOU, with the sass and the so spice and the kitty cat noises. The infant we cared for two years ago was a stranger, a blob, a nothing. And then there was you. This is how it is supposed to be. Everything makes so much more sense now.

You continuously seem older than your scant years. You talk maturely, clearly and often. Maybe it's just a side effect of first-time-mom that I have nothing to compare it to, but you feel like just another one of us humans instead of something newly minted and pressed. Welcome to the collective, fellow human, all your base are belong to us. And if you have no idea why that is funny I have failed you.

You've spent a significant amount of time lately being a kitty cat, something I remember doing as a child too, though not one this young. You show deep commitment to the character, responding to all questions only with varying inflections of 'meow.' Let no one ever accuse you of not being dedicated to a good cause*. "Hi fireman!" "What's your name?" "I a kitty named kitty." No creativity points for you, minus 5.

*"Good cause" being relatively relative. Meow meow meow, meow?

You deemed this pizza roll to be, EW YUCK. I still love you. Mostly.

You're starting to remember things with startling accuracy, all the more surprising because before this moment we were able to assume every adventure was a blank slate wiped clean. Now you call for ice cream at the IKEA checkout before we get in sight of the counters from the one time we had ice cream there months ago. You wake up in the morning asking about Unc' Joe and Kayla. You call Grandma on the telephone. It's rather astounding and if it were up to me I'd enter you into Ripley's Believe It or Not. Incredible! Amazing! Regular kid remembers stuff from weeks ago! It's the dawn of yet another new era, the age of memory. Soon you'll be able to keep them for yourself forever like precious little brain clouds, collected up there for viewing.

Parenting Bonus: You can remember the fun stuff!
Parenting Not Bonus: You can remember when we screw stuff up.
I guess the first two years were just practice rounds so we could get our shit together before you could remember. BRING OUT THE A-GAME, this just got real.

They say that by five most of a person's personality is already formed. I think I can do them one better. I can see exactly what you'll be right at this second. Here at two the view is nice. Eleven year old Jude will be challenging, too smart to fall for our tricks. Twenty year old Jude will get serious about doing things.

I want to say that I don't expect you to be anything but yourself but it would be naive to say that I don't have a general sort of idea in my head of what you'll be like. The good news for you is that those ideas are just fleeting pictures in my head and you get to make the reality. None of that probably makes any sense to you, but it makes sense to adult me. We can talk about it later, over the beers.

A shift is happening. No more am I the ultimate being of food and comfort,
more and more now we walk side by side.

Have fun.

All my love,
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