Tuesday, December 06, 2011

letter to trinity: 77 months

Dear Trinity, 

Winter is coming. Sorry, I've been reading 'A Song of Ice and Fire' a lot and I've been saying that a lot lately. I'll explain someday. 

That said, it is coming. We had a really early snowfall this year, so it's barely into December and we've got a lot of snow on the ground. We've been doing some early tobogganing, building snowmen, snow tag, all that good stuff. Neither the ski hill, nor any of the outdoor ice rinks will be ready for weeks, but they're coming. 

You've had a fun month since we last spoke. Your Mom and I took a mini-vacation for a few days (our first in so very long), so you spent the time we were gone with your grandparents. You've had sleepovers with them before, but never because we were out of town, nor for so long. You weathered it great; went to school as per usual, stayed up late with the grandparents, and very likely tired them out. 

You also had a unique experience at school. I won't comment on the continuing challenges there, but you did get selected to be the star in the Grade 1/2 presentation at this year's Remembrance Day ceremony. They did a group sing of a Dixie Chicks song called Travellin' Soldier, and it centers around a girl with a bow in her hair. And that girl was played by you. You did great, but I think all of the smiling and thumbs up we did before the ceremony only added to your anxiety, instead of relieving it. 

One new thing we tried out this past month: real live bowling. We've been playing Wii bowling for a long time at home, and thought that we should take all of your butt-kicking skills out in the real world. You did great, and because of the 'no-gutterball' rule they have for kids (guards come up to prevent the ball from going over), you beat your Mom and I pretty handily. 

Anyways, big month ahead. Christmas is coming, and I'm going to try to spend some extra time with you guys. Hopefully the ski hill will be open, as you really loved that last year and have been asking about it regularly. 

Love you lots, 


Saturday, November 05, 2011

letter to trinity: 76 months

Dear Trinity, 

Another month goes by, and I'm here to give you a few highlights. 

We've been up to a few new things lately. Your uncle jumped right on the thought that we might buy a four wheeler (we've been talking about getting one), so he took us all out on some trail riding. We had fun, but we might have gone a little too far off the regular trails; by the time we got home, only Uncle Dave still wanted us to get a four wheeler. You found it uncomfortable, and your Mom had a fair bit of anxiety when we got into a few tight/steep/potentially dangerous spots. 

An update on the Halloween party we talked about. We did have your Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents over for a little house party to compensate for not going out for Halloween. Everyone was told the price of admission was either wearing a costume or their pyjamas. Most opted for a costume. You played a great host, we ate spooky treats, scary punch, played some games. But here's the funny part: We did this because you decided against trick or treating, but when the big night came, you had a change of heart. So we ended up driving you around the neighborhood anyways. You made out like a bandit. 

Your challenges with school haven't been going away, I'm afraid. We had a parent teacher interview and had a pretty frank discussion with your teacher about some of the issues you've been facing. The bottom line is that this year you spend time outside of the classroom by yourself, and when you are in the classroom, you're bored out of your mind. You stress about going to school all the time when you're home, and your Mom and I are pretty concerned. We'll see what happens now that we've spoken with your teacher again, but it might be time to look at other options. Your Mom would love to home school you I think, but I don't think socializing with only a 35 year old is your best option, cool as that 35 year old is. 

One other challenge of note before I get to The Coolest Thing Ever: Bedtime has been a bit of a challenge lately, maybe due to the aforementioned school issues. Lately as soon as it looks like bedtime is on the horizon, you start acting out, wanting to play hard, usually until someone sustains a minor injury, and you pick that moment to start asking any question you think we'll get us to talk and forget that you needed to go to bed. Lots of fun.

Now, The Coolest Thing Ever. You read the entire book Green Eggs and Ham to us this month, in one sitting, without prompting. We have been reading to you almost every night since we found out you were coming, and you have been reading to us sporadically, sometimes books from school, sometimes some of your own shorter books. But I haven't had a prouder moment since you were born until the day you asked if you could read that book to me, cover to cover. It was awesome. 

See you next month.



Sunday, October 09, 2011

letter to trinity: 75 months

Dear Trinity,

So you've now got a month of school under your belt, and it turns out that it wasn't as bad as it could have been after all. The first few weeks the only thing you wanted to tell us about school was that it was boring. But now that you are starting to get into the new and challenging things you are doing, you seem to be anything but bored. You are doing much more complicated reading, and math, and have started really talking about things like science and even a little history. I am so proud of my little princess for making the most of a situation that she didn't embrace in the first place.

One of the challenges that neither you nor we were expecting was the way that some of your friendships would change. The girl who was your best friend last year and you spent a lot of time with over the summer, seems to want to spend her time at school with one of the new boys in the class. These things happen, but it turns out that you aren't the kind of kid to take that lying down. You shocked me when you showed me a book you made for this little girl, identifying the problem that was coming between your friendship. It showed a depth to you that I wouldn't have expected to see surface like that. Plus the book was really cute.

So speaking of making books though, I wanted to talk for a moment about what you want to spend the time you aren't either sleeping or in school doing: colouring pictures and making books out of them. Your pictures are becoming sophisticated enough that you can tell a narrative inside the pages. Its really cool actually. You've made me a few of them, and they always make me smile. It comes across as a little bit borderline obsessive, as you really want to be colouring all the time. In the car, during dinner, during a movie even.

Speaking of movies, we took you to see The Lion King in 3D this month, and it was a pretty funny coincidence that we ran into one of the new girls in your Grade 1 class at the same show. Coincidence because your school is a rural one, and we rarely run into your classmates in town. But it was great. You got to sit beside your friend, and you too laughed and whispered the whole movie. Even when you were taking time to colour a picture during the show.

One last thing that I wanted to talk about was your position on Halloween this year. Its interesting, because its different than the last few. You are becoming very sensitive to scary things, probably having to do with some certain family member exposing you to something that you were too young for (ahem. Doctor Who, anyone?). So now you try your best to avoid the Halloween sections of anywhere we shop, you don't like to see Halloween commercials, and you have decided that you want nothing to do with trick or treating this year. Instead you want to host a Halloween party at our house, and you've invited lots of family, family friends, etc. I think its going to be fun to go this route. And we're all included in the requirements to dress up, so you've been trying to help me figure out what your Mom and I what will wear, and how that will change what you are going to wear yourself. Currently, you are going to go as Rapunzel as a bride. That has somehow made your Mom Eugene, and me Maximus, the horse. All from the Disney movie Tangled in case you need context. Should be an interesting party.

Love you, 


Thursday, September 08, 2011

letter to trinity: 74 months

Dear Trinity,

Its been an eventful month, overshadowed somewhat by the anxiety that you, your Mom, and yes, even I have been feeling about you going back to school. I took a week off with you and your Mom, and we had lots of fun and a few misadventures, but I'll get there.

First up, we kicked off our vacation time together by camping out in the backyard. And because we live in the boonies, its more like camping than most campsites. We bought a bunch of camping gear, sleeping bags, a nice tent, camp chairs. Dinner around the campfire, mosquitoes, reading stories in the tent, an animal sniffing around the tent in the middle of the night; the whole works. We even happened to be camping on the best night of the summer meteor shower. You and your Mom were out cold by the time the show started, but I layed in the tent and watched the show until the wee hours of the morning. Probably minutes after I fell asleep was when we heard the animal I mentioned.  Based on what we've seen roaming the neighborhood recently, I'm pretty sure it was a bear. Don't freak out or anything. You were as safe as you could be covered in an extremely flimsy house made of nylon.

We took advantage of your grandparent's caretaking duties in a great way this month. They look after a cottage next to their place for a family of Americans, and the cottage is only used for a few days each summer. So when we were talking about going away somewhere, your grandparents wanted us to take advantage of the cottage, and we did. We stayed there for 4 nights, and we got to watch the sunset over the lake every night. We barbecued, played on the beach, and planned to do a lot of swimming and canoeing. It was fantastic.

However. It wasn't all wonderful. I mentioned the planning to swim and canoe. We didn't get to do as much of those as I had wanted us to, or rather, I didn't get to do as much of them as I wanted to. On our first canoe trip out in the main lake, we decided to paddle over to an island close to shore. In trying to make sure that your Mom didn't have to get out first, even though I was at the rear, I made a pretty silly mistake. I misjudged the water depth when trying to get out to pull the canoe ashore, and when it looked like I was going to tip you both in the lake, I slammed my foot down hard to try to balance it out. In so doing, I cut my foot quite badly on a rock. A trip to the hospital and a number of stitches later, I put a bit of a damper on the vacation, but we made the best of it.One really awesome thing was that you found something called a Cast Shield when looking with your Mom at the drugstore for something I could use to swim without getting my foot at all wet. It looked a bit ridiculous, but it worked like magic. You rock.

What else did we do this month? Well, we made another trip down south, this time a working vacation. I had to go down to St. Catharines for work for a few days, but with you both off, I was able to bring you both with me. So while I was at work all day, you and your Mom managed to find some fun things to do, in the city you were born in. You went and visited with your Aunt (my sister) and your cousins, you did some shopping with your Mom, and some swimming in the hotel pool. We managed to do a few fun things in the evenings though, one of them being going to one of the few remaining drive in theaters in Canada. There's something to be said for the experience of chilling out in your car and watching a movie on a gigantic screen. The movie, in case you were wondering was the Smurfs. And you loved it.

So now we come to the elephant in the room: back to school. It hung around a lot over the summer, lots of conversations about how anxious you were, how you didn't want to go to school, switch teachers, move into a different grade. But the day has now come and gone where you got back on the bus and drove to school for the first time this year, and you're going to be fine with it. I think you will have some adjustments to make, but I know you are up for it. You are smart, and friendly, and empathetic to your friends, and make new ones easily, so I expect that this won't be as bad as we think it might be. But I'll update you more next month.


Your Daddy

Thursday, August 04, 2011

letter to trinity: 73 months

Dear Trinity,

We're halfway through another summer already, and although its been a lot of fun already, I am already starting to dread the return to school. Even though I am at work a lot while you and your Mom are off together, it feels like we're all on vacation. I come home, we go swimming, we make a later dinner, we play outside for awhile, and it doesn't get dark for what feels like forever.

In the last month, we've done a few road trips, and tried to have fun along the way. We went down to Toronto on one trip and we fit in a bunch in the one trip. We went and stayed with friends of ours for an afternoon and a night, and you spent the entire day, evening and next morning in the pool. They keep it at an almost ludicrous 90 degrees Fahrenheit, which is about the same as a nice warm bath. So its no wonder that you didn't want to get out. I'm surprised you didn't ask for bubble bath.

You also had a really good time on their backyard swing, and have repeatedly asked since for one in our backyard. 

On the same trip, we had a family reunion (mine, not your Mom's). Most of your Grandpa's family came, with a few notable exceptions. We had it at my cousin's house, on a nice sunny afternoon. It was hot, and they have a large, sloping backyard. So it seemed to make sense that they would put down plastic sheeting all the way down the hill, and then have the adults taking turns spraying the hose on it to make a homemade waterslide. You had almost as much fun sliding as you did hosing me down when it was my turn to water the slide. 

Our next stop on this particular trip was to the zoo. And we got to do the coolest thing; petting sharks and sting rays. They've had it there for a few years, but we've never thought to check it out before. This was the right year to do it, because I think that you could have been scared earlier, but this year you loved touching them, watching for them, feeding them. Getting splashed by them. That was pretty cool too. 

Not all we did was travel this past month. We managed to have a 6th birthday party for a certain little girl. This year, we let you pick who was coming to your party, and we had a separate party for just family the next day. So your party was populated by kids from your class, their siblings, and some of their parents. It was quite the crowd, but it was a gorgeous day, and we had a great time. I had a few very anxious moments, because someone (I think it was me) had suggested we take the kids swimming at the lake across the road. So we did, but I ended up being the only adult in the water. With 16 splashing, screaming kids. It was utterly exhausting. But you had a good time, and that's all that ever matters.

I am looking forward to another month of nice weather, hanging out with my girls before its back to another school year.



Sunday, July 03, 2011

letter to trinity: 72 months

Dear Trinity,

Its been a big month for you in a few different ways. First up, you finished your first full year of school. When I first heard that there was going to be a graduation ceremony, I was surprised; I hadn't thought of senior kindergarten as something to mark with this kind of event, but knowing what a big deal this year was for you, I was all for it.

This year really was a major milestone for you. You had previously spent your entire life, with a few rare exceptions, in the company of myself, or far more often with your Mom. Last year, you started going to school a few days a week, but that ended up being too hard on everyone, so we pulled you out and you spent the remainder of the year at home. This year, you went to school nearly every single day, taking the bus there and back, and participating fully. You went on school field trips, and brought home books to read, artwork you'd created, tales to share with your Mom and I of your adventures. Your Mom was lucky enough to spend a lot of time with you there as well, volunteering whenever she could, so you did still get to see her. I hope to be a part of plenty of graduation ceremonies over the course of your life, but this first was a very special one.

I should probably tell you the Doctor Who story at some point, and now is no worse than any other. I am a huge scifi/genre fan, and have an affinity for media that your Mom doesn't understand a single bit. I read superhero comics, listen to audiobooks that are made up mostly fantasy and science fiction, and my favourite all time television show is Doctor Who. You know this, as I talk about it sometimes, even though your Mom couldn't care less what happens, but you are interested, so you ask me. You have drawn me pictures of the Tardis, and acted out some Doctor Who play with me, even though you hadn't ever seen the show. So, that last bit changed last month. You had been bugging me to let you watch it, and I picked an episode that was more intro to a new person playing the title character, and didn't have too much scary or inappropriate content. You loved it, and didn't seem to be too affected by it, so I made the mistake of letting you watch another one, that was a little scarier, and had a few moments I had to skip past. The nightmares you had that night and a few since have pretty much guaranteed that you will not want to watch it again for a very long time. You and your Mom have been taking to calling it Doctor Poo. And then giggling. But if that helps you deal with being scared, thats all right by me. I know you'll come around again, and want to be into what Daddy's into again soon enough.

One thing that we've done again this month was a home made fireworks show. The three of us took over your grandparents house over a weekend while they were out of town, and one of the things we took advantage of was the access to their beach, and the ability to set off fireworks on it over the lake in the evening. So your Uncle Dave and I bought a large amount of fireworks of various sizes and set them off, while your Mom, your Aunt Morgan (they're not married, but close enough) and you sat on the dock to watch. It was fun.

While we waited for it to get dark, we each took turns trying to teach you to skip stones. I don't know if this was the best thing to teach you, but that might be because the most skips I could get were 4 or 5. Your Uncle got a few off in the double digits. Look up sour grapes at some point.

You started playing soccer this month. We signed you up for a local league with a number of your playmates and you've been enjoying it for the most part. You play two nights a week, and its sometimes hard to get you excited about it, as you're not quite as keen on the sport as you were last year. But you have gone to most of your games, and you've been getting steadily more confident as you play, engaging more, going after the ball, even scoring a goal at one game. I was out of town for work for that game, but you called me right after and I made a huge deal out of it, even though you downplayed the event. I was (and am) so proud of you. But that's an always thing, not something dependent on you scoring goals.

I can't wait to take some time off with you this summer, enjoy your birthday, and spend some time with you while you're on your school break.

Talk to you next month.

Love Daddy

Saturday, June 04, 2011

letter to trinity: 71 months

Dear Trinity,

Well, its almost here. Your 6th birthday. I have these moments where it hits me, the length of time between now and the day you were born. They are melancholy moments. But I don't get too sad, because I have been lucky enough to be a part of your life all this time, and hopefully longer. So its all good.

As far as what's been taking place lately, you continue to impress everyone with your reading skills. You have been bringing books home from school, and they get more and more complicated to read, yet you seem to be having no trouble at all with them. Longer sentences, harder words, longer books as well. I suppose that you must be memorizing the words as you read them, but you have to make your way through them first. Both your Mom and I have been reading you a story each every night for years, and it so amazing to climb into bed and have you read to me. It makes me so proud.

Another thing you keep getting better at is your ability to count everything you encounter. I talked last time about how you have been counting, but I wanted to point out how you make a game of counting sometimes, when you see a series of numbers, when we play a game of cards, anything really. So you've got the reading started off well, you're working on the math. I'd say you're on the right track.

We went garage saleing! That can't be the right spelling, but it is the act of going to garage sales, looking at the stuff other people are looking to get rid of, and buying it for as little as possible. There was a neighborhood garage sale on our street and we went around and got you a load of stuff for a few dollars. Kind of goes in hand with the whole learning about counting business, as it relates to learning about money.

Anyway Rosie, that's about all I have for now. Next month, your first soccer game, details about your birthday, plans for the summer. I am very excited about all those things, and I hope to have some fun details to share with you.



Monday, May 02, 2011

letter to trinity: 70 months

Dear Trinity,

So what's new? This month I wanted to take a second to talk about how really proud I am of the speed and accuracy you are learning new skills, both at school and from your Mom and I. Lets start with:

You can read!! These 3 words will light the way for you for the rest of your life. You can read. You are careful and very hard on yourself when you don't know a word or struggle for more than a moment, but you are so impressive to listen to. You bring home some books from school and you have been reading them to us and loving the praise we are happy to give. You are great with word flashcards as well, rhyming them off as fast as I can flash them at you. I test you once in awhile when I am reading to you at night to see if you can help me with certain words, and you do. Its awesome.

Something else that you have been getting really great at is singing. You find a song that you like and you want to listen to it over and over again until you get every word. So far you've blown through most of Lady Gaga's hits, some Keisha, and the soundtrack from Barbie Fairy Secret.

A funny thing happened with you and watching movies this month. We've been trying to get you to watch Tangled for about 6 months now, and for some reason you just weren't into it, but one night we got you to agree to watch a few minutes of it. You've seen it about 42 times since then.

One last thing I wanted to talk about was how good you are at counting these days. You speed count your way from one to one hundred in under a minute, and you can count your way to about 50 by 2s, 5s and 10s.

Oh, and by the way, would you like to know what I find the cutest thing right now? For some reason, the way you pronounce the word anemone. It comes out of you something like amin-oh-knee. It came up when we were reading Finding Nemo, and I bring it up as often as I can now because it makes me giggle. Every time.

I love you Trin,


Saturday, April 09, 2011

letter to trinity: 69 months

Dear Trinity,

Well, it looks like we got through another winter. The snow is finally melting and we are bracing for the next week of rain, if the weather forecast holds up. That's ok though. Better rain than snow this time of year, and puddles were made to be jumped in.

We had a pretty eventful March. With your first year of school came your very first March break, and I took a few days off to spend time with you and your Mom. We took a little overnight road trip to take you to Science North in Sudbury, and really just to have an excuse to stay in a nice hotel. You spent plenty of time in the pool, and the hot tub. And as nice as Science North was, I think you would have been just as happy to keep your bathing suit on.

One down side of the trip was that I came home with Salmonella food poisoning (thanks a lot Pizza Hut), and you came home with an ear infection. So the weekend before you went back to school ended up being a bit of a bed-ridden mess, but we got through it just fine.

I have been taking some trips for work lately, and I try to come back with a little something whenever I can for my princess. Sometimes I bring you back something girly and typical, but I took the opportunity to visit Silver Snail, a comic shop in Toronto so I could get you something more in line with our shared interests, and when I found the Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver, I knew I had a winner. Its no TARDIS yet, but its a start, and its something no respectable Time Lord should be without.

We ended up hitting the slopes again, one last time before the season ended, and this time we brought your Mom with us. It was a lot of fun for both of you to be learning together, and we ended up with perfect weather for the day. It was pretty fun watching you take the tow lift on your own all the way up to the top, but this time, we skipped the more challenging runs.

And what would return of the warmer weather be without bubbles?

I love you so much Trin.


Monday, March 07, 2011

letter to trinity: 68 months

Dear Trinity,

Every time I write one of these letters, I marvel at how fast time flies between them. I comment on it sometimes, but I think about it all the time. I mentioned to someone just today that you were going to be six, and when I heard the words coming out of my mouth, it was like I was hearing them come from someone else's mouth. How could my daughter be six already? She was just learning to walk, talk, run, draw, read and write a moment ago it seems.

But now we're into another March and through the worst of another Northern Ontario winter. We actually didn't have to deal with too much snow or cold, or so it seemed anyways. I shouldn't get too far ahead of myself, because it isn't over just yet, but it will be soon enough.

We managed to do a lot of outdoor activities this year, and I've told you about those in earlier letters. I would like to try to get out skiing with you again at least once, so we might do that on the weekend coming up. We'll see. We took a family hike in behind our house a few weekends ago, and that was a lot of fun. We have nothing but acres and acres of bush behind our place, and we ended up hiking back to a beautiful frozen lake that's not far from our house, but not visible from any road. We just pulled you around on your sled, and you seemed to really enjoy yourself.

We took a trip to Ottawa a few weeks back, to visit your Grandpa and to take in Winterlude. It ended up being quite the trip, as the only highway to get there from our place was closed due to a major accident. But rather than turn around and go home, we decided to take a much longer route and double a 5 hour trip. It was an experience, but we got to go through Algonquin Park and I took you and your Mom to a little lodge in the middle of nowhere that I knew of for a nice dinner. And we wouldn't have otherwise ever gone to the place, so that was kind of neat serendipity.

The irony about making the long trip was that Winterlude was cancelled on the Saturday after we got there, due to mild weather making the Canal unsafe. So without a clear idea of what to do with you otherwise, we tried out a few other things, one of them a huge hit and one that I am sure will stick with you for awhile I think.

We went to the Museum of Civilization in Quebec, and the win was a visit to the Children's Museum, a very interactive museum designed just for kids to play, learn, experiment. It was cool and we probably spent at least 3 hours in there, with you moving from station to station, trying out each thing until you were tired of it, while your Grandpa and I tried to get all the stamps for the little passport you were handed as you walked in. I don't even know what happened to that passport, now that I think about it.

So, the bad one. In looking for something to do, we came across a presentation of a Hans Christian Anderson story called The Snow Queen, that I took to be a play, and it also happened to be at the Museum of Civilization. I thought again of serendipity, and figured we couldn't miss. It was marketed at 5 year olds and I figured it would be great. It turned out to be a very dark folk tale, presented in the form of a storyteller backed by a string quartet. Not a play, and absolutely not for 5 year olds. If you end up reading this years from now, wondering where exactly we went wrong with you, maybe this is the moment you want to dig into a little bit, because it was so bad that I wanted to leave myself. You toughed it out though, and I guess I am glad that you did. The ending was kind of a happy one, but the story was just horrible, and I was pretty upset with myself for making such a poor choice. Alas, it probably won't be the last I'll make.

But things turned out ok after all. On Sunday, Winterlude reopened, and we took you for a skate on the canal and the traditional Beaver Tail (not what you might think - its a yummy pastry).

There are a few other items of interest I wanted to point out.

You have your very first loose tooth right now. It showed up sometime last week. I went out and bought you "'Andrew's Loose Tooth", a book that you'd asked for awhile back, but that seemed completely appropriate now. The tooth is only a little looser now than it was, but I expect to have a picture of your gap-toothed smile next month.

One final thing I wanted to mention is how great your reading and writing has gotten lately. You are able to write notes and cards to people, and hardly have to ask about any of the letters and spelling. And you have taken to reading to us at night now, which is a switch. We still both read you a story each every night as part of your bedtime routine, but you have taken to reading short books that you bring home from school to us at the same time. I am so proud of you and love the look on your face when you hear our praise and warm to it, wanting to try that much harder the next time.

I love you too, Trin.


Monday, February 07, 2011

letter to trinity: 67 months

Dear Trinity,

We're well into another cold, dark Northern Ontario winter, and I think we've weathered it pretty well so far. We keep on doing some fun winter activities, going ice fishing, ice skating, lots of winter park play. Your skating has really improved, and I can't believe where you are at in such a short time. We haven't had the chance to go skiing again yet, but I would like to do that again before the season is over. Maybe this month.

Among the things that a father looks forward to are the proud moments, the achievements that he can take joy in seeing his little girl accomplish. Things like watching her graduate, walking her down the aisle, hearing her ask for her very first Doctor Who action figure. Be awhile before those first two happen, but I've already got that last one to keep me going.

You asked me just this past weekend if I could look for a Doctor Who doll for you, specifically a Doctor Who Barbie, but barring that, an action figure would do, or maybe even a toy TARDIS. Chokes me up just thinking about it.

We've had a bit of football fever around here lately. I have been a Green Bay fan for many years, and so it was awesome to see them first make it into the playoffs, then make it to and finally win the Superbowl. I was able to inspire you somewhat, and I think my enthusiasm rubbed off on you. You ended up getting into the thing with me, and you were the life of my Superbowl party.

One other thing that I have been wanting to tell you about is how much you have been enjoying waking me up on the weekends. Some weekends I will crash on the couch, or sleep in late in your Mom and I's bed, and you have this thing where you want to wake me up nicely now. As opposed to what you used to do, which amounted to jumping on me from as high up as you could get yourself first. So now you crawl in and snuggle with me until I am awake, and then we lay under the covers and plan our days. I have told you this before, but that really is some of my most treasured time ever. Just talking and hanging out with my favourite person.

Anyway, I don't have a ton of things to talk about, but I do have lots of pics. I love you Trin. See you next month.


Sunday, January 02, 2011

letter to trinity: 66 months

Dear Trinity,

There went another Xmas, and with it another year. I had a great holiday with you, and we got to have plenty of fun together. You were off from school for 2 weeks and I was off almost the whole time with you, one of the benefits of being a civil servant with plenty of unused vacation days.

We had Xmas completely at home this year, so we hosted dinner Xmas night with your Mom's family, all of mine living very far away from here. But your Grandpa (my Dad) and his wife came to stay with us Boxing Day, so you got to do the whole thing all over again in spite of distance, but this time without a turkey, a roast and way too much of everything else. And as we had kind of anticipated, it did end up being a bit overwhelming for you, but not so much that you couldn't cope. Your Mom and I went overboard a bit with the presents (also as expected), and your Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles did their parts as well. But the bottom line is that you are such a well behaved, well rounded kid, that in spite of a haul that would have spoiled most kids for good, you just kept right on being the grounded kid I know and love.

Over the holiday break, we managed to do a few fun things other than opening presents. We took you tobogganing to a big hill in a nearby city, one that I used to go to with my own parents when I was your age. Which was a very long time ago, when you get down to it, it being over 25 years since I'd set foot on that hill. But the hill was still there, and still as much fun as I remembered it. And I was pretty impressed with how brave you were to be honest. Your Mom wanted you to go down the part with the gentlest slope, and was milling about radiating low level anxiety the whole time, but you weren't having any of that. I had to talk you out of going down the steepest part solo, and after only one trip down with the two of us, you were ready to try it on your own.

We also tried our hands (or feet, as it were) at skating again. And the pair we got you last year during your rookie season have gotten a bit too snug, so we'll have to fix that. But you are more confident than ever with that particular activity, and I expect that you've picked up an interest that will last you a long time. We actually did this a few times, first at our local outdoor rink, and then at a New Year's Eve thing put on in town, at an indoor arena. You were on the ice with hundreds of other people, and you didn't even blink. The only interesting thing that did concern you was stepping on the 'writing' embedded in the ice. Whenever we came up to any of the advertising layered into the ice surface, you tried to steer away from it, causing us and a few hapless people behind us to have minor accidents. But it was all in good fun, and no one got hurt.

And since we seem to be on a bit of a run with the winter outdoor activities, I had the pleasure of taking you downhill skiing for the first time. I have been waiting for years to be able to do this with you, and I owned this one as something that I should do you with you as a Daddy-Daughter thing, what with it being an old hobby of mine. We spent an afternoon at the local ski hill, most of it on the beginner's run, but one noteworthy trip down a much bigger run. I don't know that I am the world's greatest teacher, but you made it easy on me by listening and trying your best. You were snow-plowing with the best of them, and even though you were tired out by the end of the afternoon, you were a great sport about it.

As far as indoor activities went over the holiday break, you did a lot of two things: colouring, and playing with your new PS3 game, Start the Party. You can seriously spend hours just concentrating on colouring with your markers and crayons in colouring books. Maybe there's an artist in you waiting to show herself. The video game is fun, as we got you the full version of a demo that we've had and been playing for months. So you and I have been battling it out, and I love seeing you interact with something that you can just pick up and do, without worrying about how a controller works. Occasionally your Mom joins us, though video games are certainly not something she would otherwise choose to devote her time to if not for you asking.

What else? Well, you did end up singing at the school pageant. Not only did you sing, but you grabbed the mic and sang with authority. It was really something to behold. You were bold, and loud, and completely unfazed by the few hundred parents and others watching. We might have seen the beginnings of an interest in the dramatic arts there as well.

I also wanted to keep track of a few particularly interesting questions you threw at me this past month. On one occasion, you asked me 'Do girls go to college?', to which you refused to believe me when I told you they did. I think some part of me working and your Mom staying home all of your life so far might be giving you a bit of a skewed slant on the world. That slant might have a bit of a 19th century vibe to it if the college question is any example. But that will go away once you really understand that not only can girls do anything boys can do (I need to get you that on a t shirt), but they can kick most boy's butts at most of those things. I am not so loyal to my gender that I won't admit to that sort of thing.

Another good one was 'Can you and I go to see a real Green Bay game together?', which I loved you asking. You have been taking to sitting in on football games with me, and you've heard me talking about going to a Green Bay game this fall, and I was very excited to hear that you were interested in going to one with me. I think we can make that one happen.

Looking forward to doing some of the fun winter activities that I've mentioned with you again soon. Hopefully it keeps us from getting bored during the winter deep freeze. But with you, one thing I never am, is bored.

Its a New Year, and I always get a bit contemplative and sentimental when the calendar rolls over. I don't know what we have in store for us in 2011, but whatever happens, just know (retroactively, I suppose) that I will always be your Daddy, and whatever challenges are ahead of us, we will tackle them together.

Love Daddy