Sage: 37 Months

My little comedian Sage… you crack us up.

You have a litany of Knock Knock jokes that you love to tell. You’re up to eight, and you will tell them at any opportunity. In fact, a couple weeks ago at church, our pastor titled her sermon “Knock Knock,” and invited the congregation to give their best knock knock jokes. You practiced for the whole week leading up to the service, and you were so proud to do the classic banana/orange joke into the microphone.

You’ve also reached a negotiation stage. Almost every instruction we give you gets a response that starts with, “Yeah, but…” and sometimes your arguments are actually pretty good. (“Sage, I need you pick up your toys now — it’s time for bed.” “Yeah, but I need to finish making dese wine up. I onwy have fwee more and den I’m done.” “Okay, fine.” [several seconds pass] “Okay, Sage, time to pick up the toys now.” “But I just wined dem up. It took a wong time.”)

You’re incredibly excited by doing artistic projects. You love everything from coloring to Play-Doh to painting. You love making cards by putting stickers on paper, folding it in half, and drawing on it. You’re even starting to write your name. It’s really uneven, but the letters are recognizable! You’re quick to point out letters you recognize, although you will often tell us what it says and you’ll be completely wrong. “Wook, Daddy. Dat sign says O, P, E, N. It spewws ‘westauwant.'”

This past month, you got to spend a lot of time with your Grandma Max, who came out to help out while your mother was recovering from carpal tunnel surgery on her dominant hand. You wore her down with your energy and enthusiasm, but I know you both had a wonderful time; you did art projects, you read books, you played. I was honestly kind of jealous that Grandma Max got to spend that kind of time with you so many days in a row, even though you’re going through a phase right now where you get whiny and grumpy when you’re hungry or tired.

This month, before I give you my monthly advice, I want to try again to clarify a little bit of what I mean by the usual advice of “Be who you are.”

It’s not the same as “Do what you want.”

I certainly hope that you’re able to do what you want with your life, but that’s not always an option for one reason or another. Sometimes you just don’t have the opportunity to do what you want; not everybody gets cast in the school play, or makes the sports team, or gets onto student council or whatever. Other times there will be social expectations and pressures that you honestly should go along with. (For example, you may have a family gathering when you’d rather be seeing a movie. Trust me on this one: the family gathering is more important, even when you think it isn’t.)

The point of “Be who you are” means that even if you have to do something you don’t want to do (maybe that means your job?) you can still be who you are. You can still be true to yourself. Make sure you’re honoring what’s important to you.

This month’s advice: be willing to ask for help. This is on both big things and little things. Both of your parents sometimes struggle with this. It wasn’t easy for your mother to accept help while recovering from surgery; she likes to be independent, and most of the time she handles that just fine. She did a great job, though. I also recently had to ask for help; this winter has been particularly difficult for me in terms of my depression, and I needed additional medical help to get myself normalized. (It worked, by the way.) I didn’t want to ask for help, but I’m glad that I did.

Right now, you’re in a phase where you ask for help on things that you can do on your own, but you insist on doing things “aww by mysewf!” when it involves activities that you aren’t quite ready for. I have a sneaking suspicion that this is probably a metaphor for most of our adult lives, too, but I haven’t examined it quite that deeply.

The point is, ask for help when you need it, and maybe sometimes when you don’t. It helps bond us all together. And the older I get, the more I realize that bonding with others is really the point of all of this.

It’s about love.

And I love you, Sage. So incredibly much. Your mother and I both do. You’re amazing and wonderful and I don’t know any better way to say it, so I’ll just say it again: WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!

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