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Thirty-Four Months


Dear Persephone,

You’re thirty-four months old today, but there’s a lot of other things going on as well. For one, there was a full lunar eclipse last night. I explained how the moon would fall into the shadow of the earth, and you seemed to understand. I even got you out of bed for it and we looked at the moon briefly, but given that it was around 3:00AM you were a little groggy. You wanted a flashlight — I’m still not sure why.

And this evening it’s the solstice. We each opened one present tonight, and tomorrow morning we’re opening the rest. I spent some time today assembling an easel for you but you haven’t seen it yet. You’ve seen the presents accumulating under the tree, and you’re excited about them, but in no way impatient. I suppose that might be different in years to come.

A month ago we were waiting for my parents to arrive for a Thanksgiving visit. As we sat on the front porch, acorns fell from the oak tree in front of our house. That led you to exclaim: “We need to put them back up!”

I think you enjoyed hanging out with your grandparents. Just after they left you seemed to experience one of those linguistic growth spurts. Suddenly you were formulating complex sentences, such as “When you go fast, it makes me cold.” (That was on our morning bike ride.) I suspect it’s typical for little kids to develop quickly after holidays, when having more prolonged and intensive interaction with adults.

More recently we attended your first dance recital. You’ve been taking lessons in ballet and tap dance for a few months now. At the event they served beer, wine and turkey gumbo. You made it almost all the way through your age-group’s performance before you lost interest.

Speaking of dancing, one day you started drumming on the toilet seat and singing. You commanded me to dance, and I complied. That was one of those moments I would forget completely if I didn’t write it down. But I want to remember it.

Broadcast television seems increasingly anachronistic, but we still tune in. We watched Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer with you, muting the commercials. It was really perfect for your age. The look of pure joy on your face made me feel like I was seeing the program for the first time.

You also watch cartoons on Saturday mornings via broadcast. Your favorite show is Busytown Mysteries. Unfortunately we do not mute those commercials, and I was alarmed to note you’ve memorized many of them.

Your favorite activity these days seems to be hiding. One day your mother used a sheet to make the dining room table into a fort, and you’ve been hooked on the idea of hiding under that table ever since. Or under another table. Or just about anywhere, actually. Sometimes I’ll run upstairs to get something and when I return you’re still sitting on the couch where I left you, but with your hands over your eyes. You think if you can’t see me, then I can’t see you.

For months stories about “Sephie and Roger” have been part of your bedtime routine. But just recently you’ve lost interest in those two. Now you just want to hear tales of “Dada’s school.” I usually just relate the details of my day at work, but on the weekends and holidays I have to get creative.

One night you surprised me by saying, as I tucked you in: “I love my butterfly quilt. I love butterflies and cats and trees and parks and houses and rocks and people and everything!” I thought that was just about the sweetest thing I ever heard.

Happy Solstice, baby.

Published inLetters to Persephone

One Comment

  1. Grampa Ray Grampa Ray

    Persephone’s statement about loving everything was so sweet. Bart is so right to think so. Reading this , my thoughts went immediately to an Abba tune that says: “I believe in angels, something good in everything I see”. Our yoga teacher plays this a lot.

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