Yes, I realize it's been like a year since the last time I wrote one of these letters, and I sincerely apologize for neglecting my chronicling of your every cute habit. With hard work, I'm sure your future therapist can help you learn to forgive me for this slight. But I'm writing now because a friend recently wrote something about hugging her grandsons, and I felt the sudden need to tell you that, buddy, you give the very best hugs.
Up until several weeks ago, when someone asked for a hug you'd just kind of lean your head into them for a second and let them do the actual hugging. I guess Grandma got tired of your affectionate head butts, because one day she decided to teach you how to give a "squeeze hug." Now if I'm holding you and I ask for a squeeze hug, you lean back slightly, throw your arms wide and hug me with your whole body. I can tell you honestly that if I've had a bad day and want nothing more than to lie in bed with the covers pulled over my head, one of those hugs goes a long way toward bringing me back around.
Obviously you've been through a lot of developmental changes since your last letter, so I'll just try to hit the highlights. You are so fun and silly and adorable that sometimes I just sit still and watch you play, amazed at how far you’ve come. You pretend our car is a train and I’m the conductor, and you correct me when I accidentally break character and call it a car. You say, “Bust my buffers!” when your toy trains wind up in a head-on collision with each other or Lightning McQueen. You have a wonderful smile.
A couple of weeks ago we took you to Golden to see Thomas the Tank Engine himself, during an annual “Day Out With Thomas” event at the Railway Museum. I knew you would enjoy it, but I had no idea the intensity with which you would approach this adventure. When we arrived and you caught your first glimpse of the life-sized Thomas, your grin was enormous. But that was one of the last smiles we saw on your face that day. Not because you weren’t enjoying yourself, but because you were so intensely focused on making sure you didn’t miss anything. As soon as one thing was over, it was crucial to your survival that we see the next cool thing. And if that cool thing happened to be a fire truck or a petting zoo, your reaction was a strong NO THANK YOU WE MUST GET BACK TO THE TRAINS. Except without the “thank you” part. I saw so much of myself in you that day. I vividly recall trips to amusement parks where I only reluctantly allowed your dad a moment of rest before making him move on to the next ride, because there are so few hours in the day that it’s important to maximize the fun when you have the chance. And what if I missed a cool roller coaster? What if you missed a cool train?
We adopted a cat, and odds are good that you’ll never remember a time in your life that we didn’t have Sully. Unless, of course, you accidentally kill him. You love that kitten as intensely as any two-year-old can love a pet, but you don’t understand that he’s just a tiny thing with tiny bones and a tiny windpipe that maybe can’t withstand the vigorous hugs of a toddler. Fortunately, the cat has developed some defense mechanisms, like running the hell away when he sees you coming. If you catch him, he simply goes limp, figuring he’s less likely to get hurt if he turns into a ragdoll. We tell you over and over to be gentle with the kitty, but who can remember those kinds of instructions when a bundle of cute is on your lap and suddenly it bites you and you really, really need to chuck it across the room? I understand, buddy. I really do. Just, please try.
I could go on and on about how much I love being your mother, but I think you get the point. You are awesome.
I love you,