Friday, April 27, 2007

read when you are 37

Dear Nicolas,

This morning on my walk home I thought of some things that I want you to remember when you’re 37 (and, who knows, you may have two kids of your own at that age).

You won’t remember this (because, of course, you were blissfully unaware of it at the time) but around late April I had a couple sleepless nights. Yes, I had done something wrong again and I was in need of forgiveness. Fortunately, God and some others forgave me. This was a great relief, but it still kept me up those two nights.

And then, it began to rain. It rained all day and (this was a good thing) when the evening arrived I was dog-tired, so it did not take long to fall asleep. It must have rained all night, without letting up, but I slept soundly right through it.

Some weeks before this, our kind portero Luis had planted some grass seed in our courtyard and the evening’s rain made the new bright green blades stand out in stark contrast to the moist black soil. That image served as a metaphor of hope.

This morning, when I woke up, you were in bed with us. Then, as was your custom, at 7:25 you ducked your head under the covers and made the sound of a pig (“oink!”).

You waited for me to say, “Is that a piggy under there?”

You giggled and then you added to the pig a dog (“ruff, oink!”), pitching your voice high for the dog and low for the pig.

“Is that a pig-dog?”

More giggles.

Then, a rooster, (“ruff, ruff, oink, oink, cockadoodledoo!”).

“Sounds like a pig-dog-rooster to me.”


“Ruff, ruff, oink, oink, cockadoodledoo, hyoooooooooo”.

That was an elephant. In bed. Turns out we had a whole zoo lurking under the covers.

Finally, you popped your head out to say “Boo” as if all the animals emerged from hiding and I pretended to be scared and you laughed.

We proceeded to breakfast and you cackled some more when I read the lunch menu to you because, with each item, I gave a shake of my behind in an exaggerated fashion.

You pouted when your sister got the Pooh cup and you had to use the Mickey cup for your morning tea, but that was soon remedied. “Whatever you do,” I said, “don’t…SMILE!”

You bust out laughing and that was that.

We came to pick you up that afternoon from school in the car for it was still raining. This time, we brought the dog. When we got closer to the car, you shouted “Lexi!”, overjoyed that “the puppy” was there.

On the trip home, Meaghan sneezed while speaking and Dad imitated her and everyone laughed some more, including Mom (which is saying something).

Arriving home, you enjoyed a cup of tea for snack. Just the right thing for a rainy day. And, you pulled out your homework: a worksheet of clock faces.

You didn’t know this at the time, but, as I helped you with your homework I thought of how the time would pass and some day soon you would be my age. And I just wanted you to know that I loved you. So I sat down to write this.

You had ten spelling words, which we reviewed to prepare for Friday’s spelling test: school, were, would, wanted, our, bought, caught, amazing, flower, beautiful.

Sometimes, you would have to make sentences for each word. Today, however, you didn’t have to, so I decided to make my own sentences with your word list. Here goes:

1. I’m so proud of you for adapting to your first year of school so well.

2. Were you even aware that, at one point, I was your age and I made plenty of mistakes, too?

3. At this age you would play computer games and make little noises from the other room that made us chuckle.

4. After that, you wanted to play out on the balcony with your Action Man (who seemed to always be naked).

5. You are our funny boy.

6. You have bought my heart.

7. You have caught my soul.

8. You are amazing, my child.

9. You are a bright flower.

10. You are beautiful and we love you.

We practiced your test. You got ten out of ten and a big smiley face, which did not surprise me in the least.

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