An Open Letter to the (Almost) 2-Year-Old
Dear Little R:
Someday, years from now, you and I will sit back and talk about this fall in London, and we’ll smile. We’ll grin at all the pictures of you pointing to weather vanes. We’ll laugh at the GoPro video from the London Eye (the one where you are chanting, “London Eye” to the tune of Springsteen’s “Empty Sky”). We’ll chuckle while we reminisce about your obsession with Big Ben.
These are the Big Moments that have characterized our trip so far, the ones we tell your grandparents about in letters and on Skype. And, indeed, they are important.
But they’re not my favorites. Not by a long shot.
No, my baby, I prefer our mornings, the three hours you and I get to spend together every day, just the two of us. We drop your Big Sister off at school. We swing by Molly’s (or another café) for a coffee and chocolate croissants. Then we just hang.
Some days we head up the hill to the playground in St. John’s Wood. Other days we take the bus to Hyde Park. Then, of course, there are the days when we do REALLY crazy stuff, like take the Tube to see the Gherkin, or hop a canal boat tour into Camden to check out those amazing locks (you know how much I can geek out over modern engineering).
I love these “dates” because they’re fun. I love them because they’re relaxing. Most of all, I love them because I get you all to myself.
Nothing against your sister, of course; I had similar solo time with her when she was your age and you weren’t alive. But because you came second, and because she’s here too, alone time with you is rare. That means I’m that much more protective of it when I actually get some.
And so, on the eve of your second birthday, my baby, I say: Thank you. Thank you for making every morning so special. Thank you for willingly joining me on these jaunts around the city. Thank you for being cool about the whole daddy-has-to-stop-and-get-a-coffee thing. Most important, thanks for being such a fun and easy-going partner in crime.
Years from now, many birthdays down the road, you may not remember much of our morning dates here in London, and that’s totally fine by me. I’ll fill you in. Because I will cherish them forever. And I’ll never forget.