Dear Jackson,

November 30, 2010

An update and an announcement

Filed under: 1 year-old - 2 years-old — Tags: , — aJOHNymous @ 5:07 pm

As you can see by the date, this letter has been a long time coming. I’ve started and stopped it so many times over the past few months that it’s ridiculous. It isn’t that anything interesting hasn’t happened; it’s just that my free time has been really limited. Well, that and I have been fighting some serious procrastination and laziness issues lately.

Quick recap:

– We went to Key West and you knocked a bottle of hot sauce all over your mom’s yellow and white outfit. She was not pleased. The rest of the vacation went swimmingly. You seemed to have a good time, even though the pool toys sketched you out.
– You finally started walking. And then running. And now you’ve (unfortunately) mastered climbing. I wish you’d stop smacking my TV and pushing every button on every device within arm’s reach. You’re a handful, kid. Is this what karma feels like?
– You’re talking…sort of. You’re familiar with what a ball is: you call it a “baww” and point. We taught you to say Mama, Batman, and Banana: you refer to all three as “Mama”. You just recently started saying “Dada”. We ask you what a sheep says, and you say “Baww”, and you make a raspberry sound when we ask for an elephant sound; it’s close enough.
– You’re a very picky eater. [Gee, I wonder who you got that from.] Half of what you eat gets thrown on the floor for Dyson. It’s no wonder he lays directly under your high chair during every meal.
– You’ve finally discovered that playing with Dyson can be fun. You take his ball and run around laughing as he chases you and licks your face. This greatly amuses you and you’ll often stop in the middle of the floor and just let the damn dog lick your face. It’s pretty entertaining to watch. Oh, and you also like to walk up to him and hit him in the face or slap at his body while he’s hanging out on the couch trying to sleep. He doesn’t appear to be amused by this, but you are.

And here we are.

Thanksgiving was just last Thursday. The year just flew by. It seems like only yesterday that I was writing the 12/31/09 letter to you. That reminds me; I had a lot of resolutions set for this year and not a lot of actual commitment to many of them. It’s just par for the course, I suppose. But hey—2011 is the year, man. This next year is when I commit to shit for real. I’m writing that with a lot more sarcasm than I truly intend it to have.

Perhaps I’m being a little bit too hard on myself. While I may not have committed fully to many of my original 2010 resolutions, I don’t think I’ve really done too awful of a job. I did start writing a few new screenplays, and as is my way; I’m stalled on pretty much all of them. I’m so good at starting things, but horrible at actually following through and finishing things. I am really proud of the recent writing that I have done, though. In my opinion, it’s some of the most fun stuff that I’ve ever come up with.

You know what? I’ll get back to my resolutions in a later letter. I just can’t continue this particular letter in the direction I wanted without having to let you in some news we just found out about a week ago:

Your mom is pregnant. You’re going to be a big brother. I’m going to have to start writing letters for two kids now.

I won’t bullshit you, buddy; I’m scared.

All of our lives are about to change pretty dramatically. It’s not that we didn’t want another child—we definitely did; just not right now. Getting pregnant a year from now would probably have been perfect. But you know what? You’re never going to truly be ready for something like this until it happens.

When I say I’m scared, I mean it a few different ways. I worry about our financial situation. I worry about your mom taking care of a newborn as well as 2.5 year old in her workplace. I worry that I won’t be able to give either of you as much time as you both will need. I worry about having such a small house, with four people and a dog. I’m just worried about a lot.

I don’t try to create an illusion that I’m a great father, because I really feel that I’m not. I’m trying my best to take it all one day at a time, but having never been around kids before we had you, I still to this day find myself worrying about failing you as a father. I really do try my best, but it’s hard sometimes. Now I feel like I’ll almost have to neglect you even more at one of the most crucial times in your life because I’ll be helping your mom try to take care of a newborn as well. I know it’s going to be tough, but it’s going to be even tougher for your mom. I don’t know that she’ll be able to keep her job with your grandparents because I don’t know how much work she’ll really be able to do with you and your little sibling.

Obvious worries aside, I’m also looking forward to this new adventure. We both really want a daughter, but we won’t be disappointed if it’s a boy. That said, your mom and I have both agreed that this one will be the last. We don’t really want a brood of 5 or 6 kids to have to deal with, so this is it. That’s one of the biggest reasons we both wanted to wait at least one more year. We were hoping by the time we had another child that you’d be completely out of diapers and sleeping in a regular bed. Now we’re going to be rushing like mad to finish the basement as well as to convert the spare bedroom into either your new room or another baby room. We have lots of work ahead of us in the coming months.

I imagine at some point your sibling will be reading this letter and it might come off as a bit too regretful. I don’t intend it that way at all. Though he/she may be arriving a little bit unexpectedly, it isn’t an unwelcome arrival. I tend to worry a little bit too much so these words might carry a bit too much negative emotion. I’m sorry for that.

All that aside, it ought to be interesting for two only children to raise siblings and see how our single child upbringings reflect on raising two children. Look at it this way: you may not have cousins, but you’ll have each other. That’s why it was always so important to me that you had a sibling. Growing up without a brother or a sister was great because I was the default favorite, but it also got really lonely at times. I’m just glad that you’ll have someone else to play with when the weather is really sketchy or if all of your friends live a little too far away for you to reach by bike.

Now that we have that announcement out of the way, future letters will probably be directed at the both of you and they ought to get pretty interesting. I never thought to really put my thoughts into words before your arrival so I’m sure all of the progress updates throughout your mom’s pregnancy will be pretty enlightening. I’ll do my best to continue writing letters as often as I can but as I already mentioned earlier, we have a lot of work to do before your sibling pops out.

Wish us luck.

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