To Ruby on Her Fifth Birthday

Dear Ruby,

You are turning five today.  Seeing as how you can’t read yet (almost!), I assume that you are reading this at an age older than five.  Thinking back to my own parents and my own childhood, the thing that I wish the most is that I could go back and talk to my parents of thirty years ago, but now, as an adult.  There’s so much I want to know, and sure I can talk to them now, but it’s different.  They’ve forgotten some of it, and blurred the rest.  I want to talk to young them.  Obviously that is impossible, and by the time you are grown up I will be a different person too.  But here, on your fifth birthday, I am still me.  So go ahead, ask me anything.

Hmmmm.  I am not getting a response from the future.  That’s weird.  I would have thought that you would have some sort of telepathy wormhole or something in the future.  Well, I don’t know what to tell you then.  What questions are you going to have for me?  What traumatizing thing am I doing right now that I am totally unaware of?  I wish you could tell me.  But since you can’t, I’ll just try to give you the basics.

We’re still living in Richmond right now.  Remember the green house attached to the red barn?  It has a silo and everything!  It’s a good house, but it has no laundry and there are no sidewalks, so we have to spend hours at Nini’s house washing clothes every week, and you can’t really ride your bike around.  We are trying to move to a different place, hopefully closer to your Mom’s new job in Burlington.  We haven’t officially found a place yet, but we’re hopeful that we’ll have a new place soon.

Your brother Edward is about to turn two.  I hope you still have a good relationship with him.  You two sure do love each other now.  Mostly he loves to bonk you with his head, but my happiest times as a parent are watching the two of you play together.  You love to have dance parties to generally inappropriate songs, and you love it when he climbs on you and smooshes you.  You also like to snuggle together under a blanket and watch Sesame Street or Little Einsteins.  It is super cute.

My job is mostly taking care of you guys, but I am also an opera singer.  Will that work out in the end?  I don’t know, you tell me!  I love performing and doing shows, but I hate being away from you when I have to travel for a show.  I am leaving in a few weeks for my first contract with the Met.  I hope it goes well.  I also hope that you are not in therapy because of your absentee father.  I think that by staying home with you for five years, I may have already spent more time with you than some fathers spend with their kids in 18 years, but that doesn’t make it any easier for me when I have to leave you.

Your favorite things are books and games, and you also love movies.  As those are also my favorite things, I wonder if it is genetic, or if I just rubbed off on you a lot.  You are also learning to climb trees and you adore being outside.  I hope we have had a lot of fun outdoor adventures together.  If not, give me a call and we can have one right now.

Most of all I hope that you are happy, and I want you to know that I love you very much.  Nothing you could ever do will ever change that.  If you are reading this and we are fighting, as we are bound to do from time to time, just remember that I still love you.  You are already one of the most amazing people I have ever met.  Only five years old and you have fans all over the world!  I can’t wait to see what’s in store for you as you continue on your way through life.  You probably have more questions for me, and so I will try to remember as much as I can about everything.  I apologize in advance though, because I am very forgetful.  Happy Birthday.

Love, Dad

Posted in Birthdays, Parenting, Ruby.

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