You will never know what happened just a day ago in Boston. You will hear about it every year the Boston Marathon ran through the streets. I will do my best to not dwell on what happened. Something tells me that you were aware something was happening, I spent more time with you, I was more patient, and I held you just that much tighter. It is sad that it took something like this happening for me to take a moment to pause to spend time with you.
There was something that legendary anchorman Tom Brokaw (I had to do everything to keep from saying Ron Burgandy, who you will learn more about later in life) said last night during the late news that struck me (I’m sorry I can not remember exactly what he said), but it was something along the lines of his grandchildren and their children will not know the age of innocence and being able to play outside, or go to a sporting event, or going anywhere without fear.
Son, there was a time, when I was a child, when I could just tell your grandmother and grandpa that I was going down the street to play with some friends or at the tree-house just down the street. They were never worried about sexual predators or worried about what was going to happen at school. They were not afraid to let me out of their sights, maybe they were and I just did not see it. Times have changed though.
You might be 15 and I maybe still saying that I need to be outside watching you as you shoot basketball hoops, or dropping you off at school, telling you each time you open the car door saying that I love you in front of your classmates. You will get annoyed at it, I did when your Grandmother did it to me, in fact, I still do. You will get annoyed at the need for me to always know who you are with and whose parents will be there watching you. Son, this is for your own good, and it is because of the people who caused the Boston Marathon Bombings, Sandy Hook and Columbine, 9/11, and Oklahoma City that bring these questions and this watchful eye. It is only out of love.
While I am talking a lot about fear, I see hope. I see hope that humanity will change, that times will change once again. I see a time where we do not have to be so fearful. A time when all the good people on this earth have thrown out all the bad people. Not to get all hippie on you, but that is what I see. There is hope son, I can see that hope in your mother’s eyes, I can feel it in my heart, and most importantly, I can see that hope in your eyes. So here is to hoping my son, I love you!
Son, it has been a while since I shared a story with you. You have been learning so quickly that is difficult to keep up. Yesterday though you just did something so dang cute that I have to share this memory! You ran up to Anna (our new puppy) as she was sleeping against the wall to look out the window. You proceeded to say “I am sorry Anna!”
Now whether you meant it when you said you were sorry or not I have no idea. My guess is that you did mean it, you tell Anna you love her all the time. You give her giant bear hugs and kisses before bed. You want to play with her so badly that you get just a bit to rough and she ends up running away.
None of this is your fault, you are still learning how to play with Anna. We adopted her because you needed a play pal and I am confident she will become that for you. Until then I will continue to help you play with her so she knows that you won’t hurt her.
You have learned when to say “I am sorry” which is a trait that your mother and I appreciate. You are not acting out in a malicious way, you are just being a two and a half-year old.
I love you,
It may look on the outside that I do not feel for you son. It may seem that I am hiding a lot of my emotions It may look like I am not being a good dad but this whole tough love deal was tougher than imagined.
We did not realize last week that you were sick when we started closing you in your room to keep you in your toddler bed. We did not know until the next day after a very rough night. Once we figured out that you were sick, your crib was immediately put back together. We did not want you going through a major change while you were sick. Your mother and myself were not ready for just how rough things were going to get.
Understand, that we have undergone a lot of changes son. You are changing day cares, instead of your mother dropping you off now I am, and your mother is starting classes again. It is difficult. VERY difficult.
I have beaten myself up lately. I never listened to your mother when she told me 5 months ago that you were to young for your toddler bed. It is a lesson that I still have to learn. It created a rough 5 months of you running into our room in the middle of the night. Many sleepless nights by your mother and myself, you included. That was just the beginning, and now welcome to hell week.
It started with a little fever. I say little, your mother, who is right on this, says it was not little. This came on a night we were supposed to have a date night. Plans cancelled. Suddenly, you were in pain, we could see that. Fingers in mouth, we thought you had strep, I would not take you to the doctor to save money, being the penny pincher that I am. Drool. Everywhere! I remember thinking that there was no way you could be teething, AGAIN!
Where do I turn? To the internet, because it has the answer to everything. I learn there are these wonderful things called 2 year molars. I say wonderful, but you, your mother, day care teachers, and myself now know, THEY SUCK! I have never seen you so much pain. This is one of those times where I can not help you. Well I can, to a point, with Tylenol That is all I can do.
Maybe, your father is to emotional on the inside, but seeing how you are hurting makes me hurt. I don’t show it but it does. One thing that I know, is that you, your mother and myself just need to push through. This time will pass. There will be a time when you lose your first tooth. When you fall off your bike and scrap your arm. I will look back at this time and then and only then will I realize just how easy I had it.
Son, it is time for some tough love. We are a week into the third round of the toddler bed. Before your mother and me did not have the energy to fully invest ourselves into getting you to stay asleep in your room. You would come crawl into bed with us, kicking me in the back, sleeping horizontal pushing me off the side of the bed knocking me out cold as I hit the corner of my nightstand. It’s all find and dandy for your bed but when you don’t push me out of bed you wake me up.
Mom and dad need their sleep and so do you. So we are laying down the law, we will be closing your door and letting you cry it out. Sounds cruel but we are doing it, the book that your pediatrician suggested. Remember you hate him not us, he is the one who is sticking you with needles!
We do not want to do this as much as you do not want the feelings of abandonment. Rest assured though, we are there for you, across the house and dead asleep, but we are there. It will take some time getting used to. I am sure that it will take a couple of days of screaming bloody murder right by your door and possibly going to sleep right by the door. Another piece of advice son, if you can just stay in bed, when your mother and I walk into your room we might hit you in the head, which would make things worse.
Someday you will understand that sleeping is one of the greatest joy’s a person can have in life. You will feel recharged full of energy and ready to throw snowballs at daddy…
We love you son, we are not trying to be cruel or punish you. This is only for the greater good trust us! You may hate us for a couple of days but after that you will be fine I am sure, after you tell us about all of your new friends that you will be meeting at your new day-care. We just don’t want you going to day-care looking like this…
William, this is one of the few times I will address you by name. But I want you to know this…
I Love You!
While what happened to the 7 to 8-year-old children in Newtown, Connecticut is tragic, it will not keep me from letting you grow up. I can’t protect you forever. You always want to hold my hand to go to sleep. However, I will not always be able to do that. I can’t keep some creep from coming in and taking you in your sleep. I can’t keep you from playing on our driveway and some drunk driving through our lawn and hitting you. I can’t keep you from playing in our back yard and someone shooting a gun in the air a mile away and the bullet hitting you. I can’t keep you from going to school and someone deciding that shooting children is the answer. These are all things that have happened before, what is to keep them from happening again.
I can’t keep these things from happening. As much as I want to, I can’t. William, I love you! I love you more than you will ever be able to realize. That is the one thing I can tell and show you. I will tell you that every, single, day. I do NOT want something to happen to you and deal with the feelings that I would have if I did not tell you that. Those feelings would be more difficult. I can not even imagine what the parents of the children who were shot are going through. I do not wish that upon anyone.
I have to let you grow up, I have to let you go places where I do not have control over the surroundings. It is one of the risks that I am taking as a parent. I want you to know though, I love you William.