I'll admit that it's hard to summon up the motivation to write this month, to try to figure out the right ways to tell you who you were at this very moment. Your Daddy-love has never waned, and these last few months have left me feeling very sad and removed from you. I've worked very hard to try to make sure you don't see it, and I truly hope I've succeeded.
If you're reading this in 20 years time, please know I didn't write this to make you feel bad or to rub it in. I've been trying to make this a real picture of our lives, and that's what part of our life is like right now. It's totally normal for a kid to prefer one parent, especially the same-sex parent, especially when that parent is at work all day and comes up the conquering hero. I get it, truly. Doesn't make it easy, but I get it.
It's bittersweet, because watching you I'm seeing you turn into this fantastic little boy who I hope I get to be friends with. You're starting to understand the jokes I make, and you're getting your own personality with language and songs. Yesterday I came into the living room and found you laying on your back playing harmonica. When you sing all of our kids songs, you like to really belt them out in a deep loud voice. Fun for us, not so much for the people nearby.
Your favorite phrases are "Oh, man" when something goes wrong and "I don't like that!" when we're making you turn the TV off or go to bed. You're taking charge of your language, and starting to use words in ways of your own - you really understand so much of it now. You've gone from asking "Where Bumper?" to "Where's my Bumper?" to, yesterday, "Daddy, do you know where Bumper is?" You were staying with Grandma the other day and she was setting you up to play in the sink. You kept asking "Where's my xxxx?" and Grandma just couldn't figure out what you were saying. After trying a few times to make her understand you paused and said "You know, I need to be higher. Where's my stool?" We love how patient you are with us.
We think you're old enough now that we're starting to give you "jobs" around the house. When we're leaving the house to head to the car, I try to always give you one light item that you're in charge of carrying. When you're done with your meal, you have to put your plate and cup on the counter in the kitchen. You're pretty compliant. This morning you finished your watermelon and headed into the living room to read your new Diego book. I saw you stop, look at your wet hands, and head into the kitchen to dry them off with the towel. Little man.
I have figured out a sneaky way to get some affection from you, and I'm sure it's everything the textbooks would tell me not to do. Sometimes I'm holding Jack and he'll give me a hug or a "kiss" on the side of my face, and I'll thank him out loud for the hugs and kisses. Competition gets the better of you, and you're compelled to give me a better hug and kiss. Fine with me. I only use my secret superpower every couple of weeks, I promise.
Jealousy of Jack is starting up a bit now that he's starting to get into your toys, and a bit of competition too. Even with that, you're still fantastically loving and supportive and kind to him and we're so impressed with you.
I love you, Nate. With every hard moment comes a happy fun one and I'll hang onto those. You're a super kid with a sweet heart and sunshine all around. I can't wait to see what comes next.