As of this writing, I have 36 years under my belt. You have one. We’re both in a better place than we were last year. I was discovering some truths about myself that I didn’t want to face, and you were being evicted from your apartment. Together, we’ve grown. We’ve laughed. We’ll both look back on this year and realize how important it was to our development.
Yesterday, I got to have lunch with you and my whole body smiled. I came home and you were curled up with Dana on the couch, a living Norman Rockwell moment of overwhelming emotion. You’d gotten a haircut since the last time I’d seen you, and your little-boyness came out, the reminder that you’re slowly becoming a man right before my eyes… and I’m becoming an aunt right in front of yours.
Your laugh is mischievous, infectious, and healing… because I feel good about myself when I can impress you. It’s “The Dana and Leslie Show” when you’re around, because what makes you laugh is different than what makes us laugh, and we are straining our comedic muscles. It’s good for our development lest we want to take it on the road.
I spend a lot of time thinking about the things I should impart to you as an adult in your life. There’s all kinds of cultural stuff, from Doctor Who and Regular Show to Star Trek and Star Wars. It’s deeper than that, though. I think about modeling, and what that means as I have you in my life to such a large degree. When Dana agreed to be your nanny for the summer, I didn’t realize how much it would make our friendship grow, too. I want to be the best person I can be, because the decisions I make now are going to influence the decisions you make later. I don’t want to screw it up, but at the same time, right now your expectations are incredibly low. As long as we feed and water you, you’re fairly self-sufficient.
Seriously, I have never met a baby like you. It’s like you’ve been born with the spirit of a Buddhist priest, never expressing anger or frustration unless something really is wrong. There’s no crying just because, and believe me, we appreciate it. We are also low maintenance. Like you, if we’ve got on a clean clothes and we’ve been fed, we’re good, too.
You’re making noises now, a lot of them, like you’re trying to learn words but your mouth gets stuck. You don’t get frustrated, though. You just move on to a new syllable. You also love to “read” and we are waiting breathlessly until you are old enough to take the quotes off and join us in the sea of literature that has amassed in terms of the books Dana and I want to pass on to you. Trust me, you won’t like all of them. But you’ll like some of them. And whether or not you like what we like is irrelevant. You are so loved that there is nothing that would ever divide us, If anything, I’m inspired by you.
I should have said “Dudeist Priest.”