Now that you're getting older, I think I will go to writing these letters a little more sporadically, every couple months, when I feel like it. I cannot take the guilt of the monthly deadline. OK? OK.
I would like to begin today by thanking you. Life at our house has gotten much much easier lately. You are so much more cooperative than you were just a couple short months ago. The tantrums are lessening if not disappearing. You are happy to go where we go, to play with us or to play by yourself. The ear-piercing shriek is rarely heard. You are even learning to sit in your seat in restaurants (hallelujah!) and to walk beside us rather than running in every direction other than the one we need to go in. Sometimes, you are even willing to hold our hands. And after weeks of a bedtime ritual that involved 1-2 hours of you screaming and stripping naked (occasionally peeing in your crib for good measure) and demanding tissues and water and blankets and anything else you could think of, you now go to bed without a fuss again. THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
The other night we moved you into your big girl bed without even a single whine or whimper. We took the crib away and that was that. Looking at your little body in that big old bed, I am forced to admit that you are no longer a baby. You are slowly but surely learning to use the potty and soon the last vestiges of your babyhood will be gone. (But please keep the chubby little hands and belly for a bit longer!) It occurred to me the other night that in just over two years, less time than I've had you so far, I'll be walking you to kindergarten. And from there it's just a few brief moments until you're a teenager and then you're moving out of the house and it's all over. Must change subject now ... starting to hyperventilate.
When I think about you growing up and away from me, I can't help but think about having another baby. I've spent a lot of energy in the past year or so wondering whether I should have another child. I've wondered whether I'm depriving you of an important relationship and turning you into another spoiled only child, just like me. I've worried that your holidays won't be as joyful as those of children with siblings, that you will be more alone in the world than you should be. But most of all, I've wondered whether I should deny myself another experience as wonderful as mothering you. Having you was the best thing I ever did, hands down. How could I not want more of that? But lately I've felt at peace with my decision to stop here, to simply enjoy the beautiful life we have rather than searching for something more. You can spend your life caught up in that search, if you're not careful.
A couple weeks ago, on Memorial Day weekend, we took you and your brother Zack to the boat and the beach. We went sailing and slept in a tent. We took long bike rides. We looked for jellyfish off the side of the dock. We grilled steaks and ate in the grass. We had bagels at The Bean and drinks (milk for you, beer for us) at the Tiki Bar. We swam in the ocean, and you begged Zack and me to take you "far away," deep into the water. You laughed with joy as the waves sloshed past us (and took it in stride when one smacked you in the face). We buried ourselves in the sand and built sand castles. You were so much easier than you used to be, no longer threatening to run into the water every second, able to play happily on the boat rather than try to climb over the sides. I love that we take trips together, that we spend long days in the sun, that you are more familiar with sailboats and ocean waves than with Sesame Street. This is our life, and it is just perfect as it is.