ten things I love about you

  1. I love that you often reach up nonchalantly and hold my hand while we walk even when you know you don’t have to for safety purposes, just because it feels nice. You hand is soft and small, and feeling connected with you brings me back to all the other ways I’ve been connected with you.
  2. I love that on your fifth birthday I playfully said something was “a pain in the putootypants” and you looked perplexed at my mixup and said patiently “no, ass.”
  3. I love that you haven’t gone through an “I am not a baby!!!” phase like all the toddlers and children on TV. I was led to believe you would have some strong need to be Big and Grown-Up. You know you’re not a baby, but when I call you baby, you think that’s just fine. (I also love that you haven’t gone through various other phases I was led to expect. Thanks, friend.)
  4. I love that you sometimes ask why there are “all boys and no girls” in a story we’ve read together, or why all the people walking out of the church down our street are black, or why “men and men and women and women” can’t marry each other everywhere. I love that you listen intently to the rather complex answers that come out of your scholar-parents’ mouths, that you ask us follow-up questions, that you mull these issues over. I love that you really do give a shit about human beings, including the ones who don’t look or act just like your family.
  5. I love that you are not scared when I’m scary, when my ugly chaotic side comes out. For instance, when I had a tantrum one day over a tidying-up disagreement, and I shouted at you, and then I announced that I was “going to go away,” you calmly said “good” and hung out with Eric until I came back up (carrying lots of folded laundry), at which point you graciously accepted my apology¬†and apologized for what you’d done in the first place. I love that you are confident and kind, and that you trust me enough that my yucky emotions aren’t threatening to you.
  6. I love how gentle you are with animals and plants.
  7. I love your personal sense of style, and how it’s always changing. I love that you’ll go months at a time wearing only “mix-matched” socks (and really, your version makes more sense than “mismatched” anyway), and then suddenly insist on proper pairs again for a while, and then rediscover a mix-matched aesthetic. I love that you’ve recently taken to wearing whole outfits backwards: shirts, shorts, underwear. I love it when you wear your trains apron as an accessory.
  8. I love that you sometimes strip naked to eat a juicy piece of fruit, or because you’re hot after a walk, or just because, and then you’ll just hang out buck naked, totally at ease with your own body. You are so whole and untroubled in your dealings with your physical self. You are so at home in our home.
  9. I love how you call us on our shit. I’ll say something, and you’ll be all, “No empty threats in this family!” And maybe it was an empty threat, or maybe I was just seriously outlining the consequences of a particular course of action, but you definitely feel empowered to name injustice as you see it. You never try to apply your bedtime or using a car seat or whatever to us, but you¬†understand and care there are some shared principles that we all need to accept in our little community, and you don’t feel you have to let us off the hook just because we’re big.
  10. I love that you are beautiful the way the ocean is beautiful, the way an anemone is beautiful, the way a ripe garden tomato tastes and smells. You are achingly beautiful: your hair, your nearly-transparent skin stretched over your little bones and muscles, your totally unselfconscious facial expressions and gestures and postures. It melts me.

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One Comment

  1. Posted 14 August 2011 at 11:34 PM | Permalink

    This is a beautiful and powerful post. There’s so much to relate to — which helps me feel less alone, – and just less. Thank you!

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  • By ten things I love about you (Simon at 6 months) on 19 November 2012 at 1:00 PM

    [...] post echoes one I wrote to Noah soon after his fifth birthday; it feels like it may become A Thing I Do from time to time.) That’s me protecting my [...]

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