17 Months Old Today…

My Dearest Son,

You are officially 17 months old today. I really can’t believe how much you have grown and changed in the past few months. It is going by so quickly and I’m trying my best to hold on to everything and capture everything that you do. Your little smiles. Your quirks. Your new found independence. Well, it isn’t necessarily new found…just newly enforced. Your getting more and more hair and have developed quite the little mullet. I’m sorry but I will not be cutting it. You haven’t had hair for a year…It will get longer and I will continue to refuse to cut it and people will more than likely mistake you for a girl. I’m sorry about this. When you get to an age where you will be offended if someone mistakes you for a girl I’ll cut it. Until then…I’ll add it to the list of reasons why you are in therapy…

This past week you and I took a wonderful trip. Two flights and a boat ride to get to our destination. And the kicker was – we did this as the two of us. I’m glad that we did this. I guess I did it for many reasons. One was to just get away for a while. Another was just to be warm for a bit. Another was to just do this on my own. It is hard to go to the grocery store or run errands but doing this trip – well – I guess in some ways it made me feel a little stronger. A little more in control. It also gave me the time to be away from the familiar. The reminders. Actually – no – not really. I’m not sure what it gave me but I know I could just be with you and be with only some of my feelings. Some of my grief. I could leave some of it home. I was able to focus on a smaller portion of my grief and I guess it also gave me a bit of strength as well. Strength that I can do things like this on my own. Just the two of us. I don’t have to like it and I can grieve that your Dad isn’t here to do these things with us but I know that it can be done.

You on this trip – wow. Such a great traveler. You were a bit fussy on the plane rides and I don’t blame you. It was a long trip. You sat calmly on the boat ride over. Not sure what to make of it. We saw four dolphins on that ride – you were just taking all of it in. Our boat captain was quite a character. Not sure if it is in the good sense or bad sense….It was a private boat ride over so it was just the two of us. The boat was okay. The captain was pretty brusk and not really talkative. Halfway through the trip he picks up what looks like a Heinekin beer bottle and takes a swig and looks at me and says “ahh don’t worry it’s non-alcoholic’….followed by a wry smile. I raised my eyebrows and just had to chuckle. What the hell could I do at that point? I figured staying on board with captain Heini would be better than jumping overboard and swimming. At least I bought a life jacket for you…which you were wearing…especially since his first comment to me was “I don’t think you want any of my life jackets…there pretty darn musty smelling”…Probably should have gotten someone else. It does make me laugh. I know that I probably shouldn’t especially because I had you with me but like I said – what the hell was I supposed to do in the middle of the gulf? I think that your Dad would have ‘wrongly chuckled’ at the situation as well. It reminded me of our boat ride in the Bahamas to go diving…maybe we shouldn’t take anymore boat rides…

The first full day we were there it was great weather and you loved playing in the sand and digging your hands in there and throwing it and making holes. Your Dad taught you that. The last weekend we had with him we were at the beach and that is what he did with you. Taught you how to just be a boy in the sand. I’m glad you remembered.

The first couple of times the waves came up you just watched getting closer and closer to your toes. That was pretty funny to watch. After a couple of times getting your feet wet you had no fear of the waves…which of course made me even more fearful. But that is you. You sit back and see what happens and once you are okay with it you have absolutely no fear. Oh the gray hairs you have already given me.

You loved just being outside and playing. We took walks along the beach. We picked up seashells. You threw sand and seashells into the ocean. We saw ospreys and pelicans. A couple of dolphins from the shore. You loved walking along the dock and I think you would have kept walking off the side of it if I hadn’t been there to stop you. You loved having me chase you and falling flat on your face in the sand because your little legs couldn’t keep up with how fast you wanted to go. You absolutely loved laying belly down in the sand and wiggling your body. You especially loved sliding down belly down on any drift of sand there was. That just amazed me. The things you came up with and did and just got a laugh out of it. It is just amazing to see you do these things and watch the things you come up with. That is one of the things that I like about you. I love just sitting back and seeing what it is that you come up with rather than showing you something or telling you to do things. I don’t have to make you my monkey…besides, you come up with crazier stuff on your own and any time I try and get you to do something you just give me a weird look…so I just wait to see what you do or what you pick up on. I love it.

You had fun taking my limes out of my Corona and eating them. You loved the Cuban dishes of black beans and rice with plantains. That is pretty much all you ate while we were there. I had picked up some groceries of food that you normally ate…but like anyone on vacation you tended to go with the unfamiliar versus the familiar. I let you have M&Ms…oh how you are your Daddy’s son…You love chocolate! Tonight I let you have some chocolate pudding and you were so excited you were shaking. I’m glad that there is so much of him in you. And the classic – you had a mouth covered in chocolate pudding and you were sitting on the sofa right next to my white pillows…you looked at me, looked at the white pillow and sunk you face smack in the middle of it, giggled, raised your head up and gave me the most devilish grin ever (also your Daddy’s look) and just laughed liked crazy. I couldn’t believe it! Oh I’m still laughing about it. Somehow you knew that if you did that it would leave a bit ol’ spot on my WHITE pillow…and you also knew that I wouldn’t be able to help myself but laugh. The next 20 minutes was spent trying to keep you off of the rest of the white pillows…you laughing the whole time.

You are talking more and more. Everything sounds like a dog right now. I guess we need to get out to the zoo sometime soon…On one of our flights you kept pointing out the window and barking while a flight attendant was talking to you. Not sure why you thought there was a dog out the window at 35 thousand feet. I guess it is better than seeing a gremlin on the wing of the plane….

Yaya is much loved by you. The two of you have a good time together and you constantly search for her in her room when she isn’t here. She loves you very much as well and likes being a big sister to you. Sometimes she gets a little tired of playing with you and goes off on her own…which is followed by yelling for her by you. It is pretty darn cute. Although now if I leave the room or Nanna leaves the room you yell for Yaya.

Kisses and hugs. You are finally giving me more kisses and doing it on your own and out of the blue. We’re working on the hugs. You love it when I do ‘big hug’ to you. I could just do it forever I think. You have a couple of pictures of you and your Daddy in your room and each night before you go to bed we give him a kiss and tell him we love him. You never miss that part. I also try and tell you a story about him. I also read letters that people have written to you about him. I’m glad you hear these things now and I’m glad I’m doing that. It is hard and most times I end up crying. I figure you’ll be very used to emotion by the time you are three and you will also know how much your Daddy meant to everyone and also a bit of who he was to different people. We are so many things in this life – we are made up of the things that people remember us by. Each person takes a bit of you with them and when all of it is combined at one time it makes up all of you that could never been said in one letter, in one description. That is why I treasure the letters people of sent, the emails, the comments. It gives me peace – peace that you will know your Dad even though he is not here in the flesh with us. I’ll always be eternally grateful for this.

My child, you are growing so fast. You are making me see life through your eyes and I’m glad for that. You remind me that life continues and that there is joy in life still. You made me laugh and smile so hard tonight that my only thought was that it had been a very long time that my face hurt from smiling. I was singing the Bumblebee song to you and for some reason you just cracked up. You had a mouth full of noodles and peas and laughing hysterically. Your face was red and the belly laughs kept going and going and going…I must have sung that song a couple dozen times. It felt good.  Your Dad could get you to laugh like that at nearly everything he did…I was glad that I could do something that made you laugh like he always made you laugh.

I love you my sweet thing. We are doing okay. We will be okay. My love is with you always in this life and the next.

Your Mom

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One Comment on “17 Months Old Today…”

  1. JT Says:

    I’m so glad to see you writing about Liam again. He brings you such joy! I’m so sorry that joy has had to endure such sorrow, too! Thanks for writing!

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