Dear Daphne – 3 Years
You are three years old today. This despite the suggested age/size on your clothing. (You’re running at about a 4-5T right now.)
Many smart people told your daddy how quickly this time would go by, and they were absolutely right. Even my daily “mindfulness reminders” didn’t seem to slow things down.
In reminiscing over some of your newborn pictures, I couldn’t help but notice how much younger both of us looked back then, despite the lack of sleep that you were causing your mommy and me at the time.
It appears your father is wearing the difficulties of this year on his face. Particularly in the color of that beard…yikes.
You see, first daddy lost his job. He’s looking for another one, but that’s proving to be a bit more difficult than he’d originally imagined. However, he’s doing everything he can to take good care of you and mommy and ensure there’s a steady inflow of Sandra Boynton books, and Martinelli’s apple juice.
The silver lining is that I’ve had 4 months of time at home with you. Four months of scrambled eggs and toast and strawberries in the mornings, 4 months of afternoon walks and tricycle rides. 4 months of naps…well, everyone else gets to nap with you, actually. Daddy spends that time scouring Glassdoor, Indeed and LinkedIn.
4 awesome months of getting to spend every day with you. And I know that someday I’ll look back on that particular facet of this time in my life with wistful fondness. Because being with you is the best place for me.
Second, we learned a lot about your autism this year. Daddy has been taking you to your ECI classes every Monday, and doing structured exercises with you during the day while mommy is at work. (Most of them. Sometimes we skip the occasional “Non-Preferred Activity” and settle for Goldfish and snuggle time over some LBB Jr. )
You start your ECAP program at a real elementary school this week, which is every bit as terrifying for your mom and me as it probably will be for you. Hopefully we’ve prepared you enough, and you won’t be too frightened during those four hours that you’re away from us. I hope…
You know, it seems like hope is just where we live right now.
Anyway, I have no doubt that you’ll quickly show your new teachers what a clever, funny and sweet little girl you are. They’ll work out the Daphne sign language lexicon quickly enough, and soon be able to understand and interact with you. I just hope being in school with them every day doesn’t alter the wonderful little person you already are.
Speaking of speaking, it was a difficult challenge this year coming to terms with the fact that you might not ever be able to actually talk to me. And that I might never hear my daughter say things like “God, this blog stuff is so embarrassing!” or “no, I said I wanted the jeans with the holes in them!” or “I love you, Daddy.”
But truth be told, you convey the latter one just fine.
I suppose this birthday has brought into focus how unfocused things are. The future is very obscured from where we are,like behind a dense fog, and none of us have any idea what our lives are going to look like at this time next year.
Your father does few things quite so well as going boldly in random directions and figuring things out when he gets there, so we’ll plunge into this existential murk and be confident there will be something amazing on the other side for all of us.
And besides, our little family is together… All holding one another up. And, in doing so, we make each other strong as diamonds.
Happy birthday my little girl. I love you very much.