Thursday, August 13, 2009

One or Eighteen

Dear Lucia,
You know, you're getting pretty old. You've grown up so much. I can't believe all the things you can do now. It's really quite impressive how far you've come since that first day I held you in my arms.

That said, I think it's time we cut the apron strings. You are old enough to go out on your own. You don't need us to hold your hand anymore, Lucia. You can do it on your own.

Soon, it will be your birthday. It will be time for you to grow up a little more and to take more responsibility for yourself. It's time to take those steps.

As you take those first steps, remember that they're baby steps. Don't go too far or too fast. You could have a bad fall. Take your time and plan each step carefully.

Of course, when you inevitably fall, your mother and I will be there. We'll help you back up, kiss you where it hurts, and send you on your way. Good luck.


P.S. - My back's killing me!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Things You Won't Know About

Dear Lucia,
I know it's been some time since I last wrote you a letter. Much has happened in that time. You have several words at your disposal such as Momma, Dada, hi, hey, dog, no, etc. You're crawling like a champ and can climb most furniture. Your favorite pastime is to walk while we hold your hands for balance. Oh, and today we decided you have chicken pox.

What's strange in all the things you are doing are all the things that you will never do. These are things that I or your mother have done or experienced, but you will not because times have changed and technology has evolved.

Take a newspaper for example. You may not ever hold and read a newspaper that is actually made out of paper. We don't even have one delivered to the house anymore as we read the paper online. While it is possible you may be exposed to a paper newspaper in your lifetime, I'm certain you will not have black fingers from the ink that rubs off of a newspaper. Somebody fixed that years ago.

Something else you may never experience is a Lego set that isn't primarily filled with rectangular pieces plus a few random wheels, windows, doors, etc. Even now, Lego sets are loaded with all kinds of specialty pieces. The days of building models that are all boxy and pixelated are long gone.

What about a rotary phone? Your mother bought you a toy rotary phone, but you probably will never fully grasp what it is. You may never know a day when you can't carry a phone in your pocket or use it to surf the Internet.

There are plenty of other things you won't know about. There's encyclopedias, VHS, dot-matrix printers, joysticks, privacy, and cursive handwriting to name a few. The list goes on and on. Things your mother and I became very accustomed to will not exist at some point during your lifetime (if they're still around now).

This is not to say that your life will be less fulfilling than ours. You will have your own experiences and routines that will become mainstays in your life. Sometimes you may have to listen to me grumble about how things were better in the olden days, but you'll learn to ignore my complaints.

So, when you hear your old man talk about how back in the day he used to blog and update his Facebook status, just listen. I'll promise to do the same for you.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Never Forget

Dear Lucia,

You're a little over eight months old right now. This is the best stage. You are fun, loud, and wild. We are having a great time. I don't want you to ever forget these times...
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Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

Dear Lucia,

I should have written this letter yesterday, but I was busy. Why yesterday? Well, Sunday was Mother’s Day. It’s a holiday intended to honor mothers everywhere. And if there is one thing everyone has, it’s a mother. And if there is one person everyone should honor, it’s our mothers.

I’m writing this letter to remind you just how much your mother means to you. You might not always believe that or remember, but I know what I see. Your face lights up whenever your mom enters a room. Conversely, you throw a terrible fit whenever she leaves. You have more fun bathing with, waking up to, being fed by, and playing with your mother than any other person in the world.

That includes me. Currently, I am #2 on your list. I’m OK with that, because I love my mother too. That and your mother is pretty amazing.

Anyways, when you hit that age – 3, 6, 10, 12, 16…whenever – you’re going to butt heads with your mother. You’ll wonder how you could have ever come from someone so mean and unable to understand you. When that happens, I want you to read this letter and remember the good times and all that your mother has done for you.


Saturday, March 7, 2009


Dear Lucia,

From time to time, people may call you a princess. Although you are not technically a princess (I am no king or any sort of royalty), these people have the best of intentions and only mean it as a compliment. You are being held with the highest of regards when they call you "princess". So, for the most part, it's OK.

A good example of a princess was Elizabeth I. She overcame the execution of her mother and imprisonment to become Queen of England. She didn't even need a king as she was famously called "The Virgin Queen". As far as leaders go, Elizabeth is a fine example of a princess.

A modern day princess that should be recognized is Princess Diana. Princess Di, as people liked to call her, survived the infidelity of her husband Charles to be an inspirational leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS and landmines. Sadly, she died in a car accident in Paris, but her legacy as a compassionate advocate for those less fortunate will live on.

However, Elizabeth and Di are exceptions to the princess rule. Most see princesses as dainty, pretty, living a charmed life, not as strong, independent leaders like Elizabeth and Di. The idea of a princess is limited to the superficial even though it is meant in a positive manner. There's little room for autonomy, intelligence, and strength as you will observe in several Disney movies.

I won't call you "princess" (unless we're playing a make-believe game in which you insist on being the princess). I won't put that on you. That's a lot to live up to regardless if we're talking about Elizabeth I or Cinderella. The only thing you have to do is be the best Lucia you can be. If others want to call you "princess", so be it. To me, you will always be my Lucia, the one who sings, plays, and explores the world around her.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Dear Lucia,

Today, your mother and I took you to the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City. This was your first trip to a museum of any kind. The trip was particularly important because it was your first official exposure to art. Sure, we try to surround you with art of all kinds, but there is something inspiring and/or calming about visiting an art museum.

I think you liked the art. You kicked and screeched at certain pieces. The pieces with distinct lines and dots seem to get your attention the most. Actually, you found our shadows and reflections in the marble floors to be even more intriguing.

I suppose art can be found anywhere or in anything. You taught me that today. Never lose that fresh perspective on the world, Lu.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My Birthday Gift to You

Dear Lucia,

Today is my birthday. Your mother's birthday was two days before. I will forever be able to tease your mother about being older than me. In fact, this will be an old family joke by the time you read this, one in which you will undoubtedly roll your eyes over.

Every year when my birthday rolls around, I look back at my year and even my life in order to take stock of all that I've done (or not done). Some years have been better than others. (22 was disastrous. 30 was pretty great.) Of course, this year was all about waiting for you and getting to know you over the past five months. Because of your arrival, I have paid special attention to the legacy I'm leaving for you.

One of my Facebook friends (I'll explain Facebook another time.), a former camper I worked with at a summer camp, told me how much she wanted her dad to share the kinds of things I share with you on this blog. She had several kind words for me and this blog, making me feel as though this was a worthwhile project, that you will appreciate the knowledge and stories I share here once you grow up. I hope she's right, but it's OK if you don't like the blog.

Either way, I want you to know that as I look back over my 34th year on this planet, I have one crowning achievement: you. You have enriched my and your mother's lives more than you will ever know. You can read this in the blog, but hopefully I will show you how much I love you every day. If you ever want to know the story of your birth, which Pavement album you should start with, or what to do with a broken heart, you can read this blog...or you can just ask me. That's my gift to you on my birthday, Lucia.