Your imagination has blossomed like crazy this month.
One of my favorite things ever has happened. I asked you, one night as you were winding down for bed, if you wanted me to tell you a story. Before that, you used to say no. This time, you said yes.
I made up a story. I made it up based on things I knew you would like, and things I thought would excite you. It was a very basic story; to a writer like myself, it seemed to lack a lot of things I would want in a more developed story.
As I told it, you hung on my every word. (You used to interrupt and ask for songs instead.) You looked concerned, then excited, then happy. Like, ridiculously happy. It was as if you had heard the best story ever told.
That was one of my favorite things… but then you managed to make it even better.
You asked me to tell it again.
And I did, and you listened so hard again. And you even cheered.
THAT was one of my favorite things… but then you managed, again, to make it even better.
You said, “Daddy, now I teww you MY stowy.”
And you told my story right back to me. You left out some points that you clearly thought were filler, and you remembered some things from the first telling that I had forgotten in the second.
Below, I am writing YOUR story — the way you have refined it over the past couple of weeks, and the way you tell it to me now. And because a lot of my friends like it when I do this, I’m writing it the way you say it — two-year-old pronunciation and all.
Wunsa ponna time, deya was a bootiful pwincess named Sage. She wiv inna bwue cassul wiv Queen Mommy an’ King Daddy. One day, she habbin ad-benture!
She went owside an’ saw a big puhple dwagon, ROOOAAAAR!
Pwincess Sage was scay-uhd. “Oh no! Oh no! What I gonna do?”
Den she was bwave and stwong. “Don’t woah like dat, big puhple dwagon. I don’t like it you woahwing.”
“Oh — I’m sowwy. I din’t meana scayah you. I’m a fwendwy dwagon!”
She hug him.
“Cwimb on my back!” An’ dwagon spwead his wings and fwap fwap fwap awwa wownda cassul!
Den day land. “Dat was fun. I wanna pway a-mowwow!”
Sometimes, this gets “Dee end!” and sometimes you go on:
“She go in an’ teww Queen Mommy an’ King Daddy, I fwy onna dwagon!”
“Wuh you scay-uhd?”
“Yeah, but den I was bwave! Now I ti-uhd. Night night!”
When you say “adventure,” you hold out your hands like presenting a gift. When you say “brave” you put your hands on your hips. When you say, “Roar!” you hold your hands in front of you like claws. When you say “flap,” I stand up and carry you around the room and you flap your arms.
I know it started as my story… but I love the way you tell it so much.
It would be impossible to list all the adorable things you’ve done lately. You’ve been a pirate (you are thrilled with a paper towel tube that becomes “my spy-gwass”) and a bunny, including both at once (“NO I NOT A SCAWY BUNNY PIWATE! I a scawy piwate… an’ a bunny”). You’re shy around strangers, but very shortly they are converted to being “my fwends!” You announced to the entire church congregation that you were going to go play… “AN’ change my diapuh!”
Sage, you’re just wonderful. That’s all there is to it. Oh, sure, you can be obnoxious and tiresome, because you’re two — but you are such an incredibly awesome kid. We’re so lucky!
My advice for this month is going right back to the root of things: be who you are. I tell you this every month, but this month I’m not going to add to it, because I want you to think about it again. Who are you? Are you the person you want to be? If not, how can you get there? What will it take? It will probably be easier than you think AND harder than you can imagine.
But you can do it.
You can be brave and strong.
Have an ad-benture.
Your mother and I love you SO MUCH that we can hardly explain it. You make me want to be the best dad ever. I love you, Sage. Madly.