Tuesday, June 11, 2013

letter to trinity: 94 months

Dear Trinity,

Well, we're almost at the end of another successful school year, and approaching another birthday. I know I sound more than a little repetitive when annual milestones come around, but its just so hard not to. I took a trip to the city you were born in this week, and after driving by some of the landmarks that I associate with those days (the park we used to take you to, our old house, the hospital you were born in), I admit to feeling more than a little melancholy. You're growing older and taller and wiser all the time. Your need for independence from me seems to grow all the time, while your needs for comfort and reassurance seem to dwindle at the same rate. You recently asked for us to stop hugging you as the bus pulls up to pick you up so that the kids already on board wouldn't see. We get our kisses and hugs beforehand, but still, these things pile up.


We signed you up for soccer again this year. Last year you ended up taking the season off, after playing one game only. It just wasn't your thing, or wasn't the right fit of kids maybe. But you just didn't get into it, and I am not going to push you into activities that you don't like. I am not one of those parents. I'll encourage your own interests, but if you're not into something just because I want you to be, well that's the way it is.  So far, soccer has been great for you. You have been playing in a different league in another town, and while you knew two other kids on the team in the beginning, you've already been starting to make other friends with some of the others. 


Your Mom and I got to enjoy another 'Take Your Parents to Lunch Day' this year and that was fun for everyone. We each left work a little early, and you got to show us your monkey bar climbing skills as you also showed us off a little to your friends. I know that you love how much we love you and are proud of you, and I'm sure there's a little part of you that likes that we want to be so involved. Even though you don't like to make a big deal out of it. Plus, you got to sit in the driver's seat of a Police car, and that was cool. 


Your Nana came for a brief visit this past month, and that was really nice for you. She's a long drive away and has a busy life. She works full time still, and looks after husband number 3. He's older, and has some health problems, so its hard for her to get up here. I bug her about it a fair bit, and this time it took. We had a nice visit, went out for dinner and the carousel. I ended up going on it with you, and my vertigo hardly reared its head, although I was probably a little wobbly afterwards.




I am really looking forward to my time off with you this summer. I've taken 2 weeks off, and at least one of them your Mom is working, possibly both. We'll see how it goes. I am hoping for some nice warm weather, so we can have a few fun days at the beach. I'll try to plan us some fun activities as well.


One really fun thing that's been ongoing, for almost nine months now, is that you are going to be a cousin again soon. You Mom's sister is having her first baby, and you are really looking forward to meeting your new cousin. You have a few cousins already, but they live far away and you see them so rarely that you really have no relationship with them. Last year I think you saw them twice; at our family reunion in the summer, and over the christmas holidays. You guys all get along well, but the idea of having a cousin close at hand to you, and a baby at that, is very attractive to you. For us, its interesting to see, because we made a choice to have only the one wonderful child that we have, you. But this is as close as you're likely to get to a little sibling, and we've had you involved in it as much as your Aunt will let us. Its going to be exciting to see how things go next month!


One last thing I wanted to mention was what an awesome Mother's Day you gave to your Mom. Your class created special books for the Moms, complete with photos, poetry, and coupons for Mom to cash in. It was really well received by your Mom. I'm sure that its the most meaningful gift you've ever made for her, and she treasures it. With Father's Day coming up this month, I'm hoping for somewhere between that and a tie (which I wouldn't wear). The pen you made for me last year is one of my treasures, in fact. Its clay molded over a ball point pen. Says I Love You on the side. You really don't have to make me anything else eve, but if you do, I'll love it as much, and treasure that too. 


Talk to you next month buddy.

Love Daddy

Monday, April 08, 2013

letter to trinity: 93 months

Dear Trinity,

Spring is almost here. The snow is melting, but the weather keeps hovering above and below zero, so its alternately a little bit frozen, or a lot muddy. So there's limited options for doing things together outside. We have been getting muddy once in awhile, and that's fine by me. And with either myself, your Mom, a friend of yours, or some combination thereof, you've been out trying to make the most of it. We tried some skating at another outdoor rink, but it turned out that the weather had been a little too mild lately, and we ended up skating on ice too soft to be skating on. So some bruises ensued.



You have been so helpful lately. We started giving you an allowance a little while back, but it wasn't about making you do chores, or trying to get out of doing something we didn't like doing. We wanted to give you a sense of earning, saving and spending your own money. We have asked you to do a few basic things, like picking your clothes up and putting them in the hamper, getting ready for school, things like that, and for that you get $5 per week. You have been really good about saving your money up for things (like our March break trip). And its been really interesting how you have been asking to help with some of the daily things we do. Making the beds, preparing dinner, tidying up. You are such a good kid. Today you surprised us by asking if you could help wash a particularly nasty casserole dish, which I was opting to soak. So you spent 15 minutes going to town on the thing, and you wouldn't stop until it was spotless. So cool.


We ended up having a lot of fun on our March break trip. We stayed at a hotel attached to the convention center where the ComiCon event was being held, so you got to see the fun really closeup. The day we got there, you saw a whole bunch of people dressed up and got super excited about taking part. You ended up going as Wonder Woman and after walking the show floor, checking out all the cosplayers, the exhibits and the stuff for sale, I'm pretty sure I've created a fan for life in you. And we convinced your Mom to join in the fun, and she got into it so much so that she rocked a superhero shirt of her own, as close to cosplaying as I think we'll ever see her. I'm not sure that she's the fan that I am or that you might yet be, but I appreciate that she was willing to give it a shot.



"Can I snuggle on the couch and watch Monty Python?" You actually asked this question to me. One of those proud papa moments. We've been acting out the 'Ministry of Silly Walks' sketch in the driveway for months. Its one of those things that we do as we wait for the bus with you, and that is always a fun start to the day. But you recently asked if we could watch some of it together, and I got the chance to expose you to another thing that I love, and got to see you enjoy it as well.


What else have we been up to? Well, again, the weather not making it easy to find things to do outside, we tried out bowling again one weekend, and that was a blast. You can be a somewhat of a Wii superstar, so I think you were expecting the real thing to be as good at that, but I think you enjoyed the overall experience all the same. The shoes, maybe not so much.


One more thing I wanted to talk to you about: Skyrim. Its a videogame that I've been playing on and off for over a year now. Very immersive, third person game in which you (me) are the hero in a fantasy world filled with dragons, magic and fearsome monsters. There is so very little in this game that I would want you to see, so I play it when I can sneak downstairs or after you go to bed. But there was some extra content created for the game that allowed players to build homes for their characters, and even to adopt children to live in the home. So I enlisted your help in building the house, picking from the available orphans in the game, and running out to the general goods stores to buy them treats. So when you ask me in the evenings if we can go play Skyrim, I can't help but laugh. 


See you next month.

Love, 

Daddy

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

letter to trinity: 92 months

Dear Trinity,

Well, I don't know about you, but I can see the end of winter from here. It hasn't been as long as some, with us skiing every weekend. Its given you and I something to look forward to other than not having to go to school and work respectively. Your Mom has even gotten involved, and she's come with us to the hill every weekend, to watch as you progress. You've gotten really good this year!

We also went skating, albeit only the one time. You really haven't been that into it, but we had a nice clear cold Sunday recently, so we hit the rink, and you had a good time, once it came back to you.


We also managed to make it ice fishing, albeit only once this season. Its a long way out on the lake to where your Grandpa puts his ice hut, and we don't have a snow machine, so we only usually go when we can drive out. For that to happen, there needs to be a lot of ice, and not a lot of snow, so we can take our 4 wheel drive vehicle out. We did make it though, and we had a good day of it. You helped catch the fish, but you empathized a lot with them, and weren't too keen on us bringing them home to eat. So you and I ended up chasing each other in the snow a fair bit. 

 

We did end up going to Science North and the planetarium as we'd been planning. The planetarium was a bit of a bust. The video that preceded the walkthrough of our local stars was aimed at an audience a little younger than you, so you didn't love that. I thought it was cool, but that's me. But when the video was over and the presenter launched into how to find our local stars, how the constellations were named, and how to find them, we all got right into that. There's talk of us getting a telescope again, and having summer star watching parties. I'll be happy if we get a telescope.  You had a lot of fun at Science North though. You watched from a distant while a tarantula crawled all over my hand and arm, and you got your hand into a lot of the interactive stuff; building your own electric car and test driving it was probably the thing you enjoyed most. 



We've made some fun plans for the upcoming March break. A few times over the last few years, I've gone on my own to attend events for fans of comics, scifi, fantasy, (Comicon and Fan Expo). The last time I went you let me know that you were upset that you didn't get to check it out, as you are into reading kids comics yourself and loved the idea of there being a big event for like minded people. And I had told you that some people do bring their kids, and they seemed to love it. So, over March break, we will be going to the Comicon event in Toronto. You're excited, but you've already hit a snag: You want to try this cosplay thing, but can't decide which superhero costume you'll be wearing. It'll be fun to see how it shakes out.



One last note on your bedtime reading. We continue to let you read a little bit at night before lights out. You've never been one to go out easily, and your bedtime tends to be a lot later than most other kids your age. But your Mom and I are not huge fans of you tossing and turning for an hour or so before finally falling asleep. So we let you read from one of your chapter books until you get tired. You love it, and I love that you have developed this passion for reading. There's a great line delivered in one of my favourite books, A Dance With Dragons  “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” Its true, and I love that you have already started on the journey that reading for yourself represents. 




Talk to you next month.

Love,

Daddy

Sunday, February 03, 2013

letter to trinity: 91 months

Dear Trinity,

We're right in the middle of winter now, and man has it been a cold one! There was a week long span where the temperature hardly went above -30 C degrees, even in the warmest part of the day. It made for delayed buses, a lot more indoor time, and lots of layers when we did go outdoors. I suspect we'll see more like it before the season is over.

You've been continuing with your downhill skiing, and I am so proud of how you've been doing. In just a few lessons, you've moved to mostly parallel skiing, and dispensed with the panicky snowplow stance you were previously used to. You've even skied the bigger runs, away from the bunny run, and went on the overhead lift on your own (with your class, I mean). A cute aside? Thanks to your instructor you call the chair lift "the flying sofa". I love it. You also get to be in lessons with your close friend and neighbour, and the two of you have a great time together.



You are getting to take part in winter electives at your school in February, so that should be a good way to keep busy with that cold weather we were talking about. You'll get to go to gymnastics, ice skating, and also to try out a zumba class in your gym. And this past month, you attended a play with your school, and they sponsored a "McDonald's Day", where every kid that signed up got to have a happy meal for lunch. Have I mentioned that I love how fun your school is? On top of all that, you've got your skiing Saturdays, gymnastics at the local club during the week, and I am trying to find you and I another father-daughter yoga class to sign up for. You actually asked for me to start up Daddy/Daughter night again, and I am going to do it, yoga class or no.


You came up with a really interesting question, first directed at me, and then at your mother this month. And it wasn't that other one, that I still don't know how to answer except honestly but without too many details. This was the one about how big the universe is, and how it ends. I answered with what I know about it from what science I follow, and you and I looked briefly through some kid-friendly articles on the scale of the universe. You had a hard time getting your head around the scale (and who doesn't?) but once you digested that, you put forward your own theory that when we do get to the edge of space, we'll find an invisible wall there. You actually said that you'd like to become an astronaut, and go see for yourself. It may have been a seminal moment for you. Your Mom and I have since decided that a trip to a Planetarium is definitely in order, so we're planning a weekend excursion soon. 


With all that cold weather we've had, sometimes you have to get creative to have some indoor fun. We took turns doing puppet/toy shows behind your toy chest. Yours was definitely the best, although I think I earned a strong second place for my performance of the Peter Parker-Gwen Stacy-MJ Watson love triangle. Your Spider-Man and Rapunzel stuffies gave the performance that realistic touch.

One thing that I'm really excited about is our current plan for this year's March Break. We won't be taking a week off to go to Disneyworld this year (I know, maybe next year). But I was planning a little trip to Toronto for all of us, while I attend the Toronto Comic-Con event. I asked if you might be interested in going, and you have been beside yourself about it ever since. You are a regular comics reader now, currently loving the Superman Family Adventures series. You know how into it I am (comics, not the Superman Family books, although those are awesome) and its fun how you want to take part with me. So it will be a family comic book convention this year. I'll be going first to make sure that the other elements, scary stuff aren't too bad, or at least to note where they are to steer you away. But I am really looking forward to it. More to come on this one next month.

Love you,

Daddy

Sunday, January 06, 2013

letter to trinity: 90 months

Dear Trinity,

We're in 2013 now, and man writing that is weird for me. When I was a teenager I remember thinking how it would be to live in dates like 2010 and beyond, and wondering what that future would be like for me. Now that its here, it doesn't seem so weird. I feel older maybe, but not so much that I can't laugh at how silly it seems to feel old, and still be a few years away from 40. I think maybe I just always feel melancholy as I get used to a new year. It'll probably keep getting worse as I age.



We had a fun christmas holiday. We were all off together for more than 2 weeks and we made it out without anyone going completely crazy, so I call it a win. Contrary to my concerns about being bored, we were busy, and I can't recall one day where anyone was moping about not having enough to do, or not getting to do what we wanted. In fact, I'd say it was more the opposite. I always forget how busy the xmas season is. The first week off we were crazy busy, lots of visiting with your Mom's family locally, and then travelling to my Dad's place to visit your Grandpa, Aunt and cousins. When we got home, we gave ourselves the project of painting the office, with the hopes that your Mom will be working from home in the New Year. We all pitched in and got it done in one day, and had lots of fun doing it. Other than that over the holidays, we did some tobogganing, some downhills skiing, and made up a snow version of dodgeball. 'Dodgesnow'. Cool name, right?



As far as xmas went, I think you made out very well. You and your Mom got me a bunch of things I had on a few online wish lists, so I literally got exactly what I wanted. For you, you got some nice toys from us, (and, ahem, Santa). You also got jammies, books, some clothes from my Mom that you are at least 3-4 years away from fitting into. It was pretty typical.



Other things that happened in December included a trip down to your Uncle Dave's place. He lives on a 30 or so acre farm, complete with horse and barn. You took the opportunity to teach yourself how much fun it is to jump in (and out of) a hayloft, as well as to try your hand at riding horseback. I have no doubt but that you'll soon be asking for us to take you back there again.



Funny story about your mother: While you, your Uncle and I were playing out in the barn, getting dirty and having a good time, your Mom was inside, getting dressed up, make up on, etc. When you saw her, with you covered in hay and what I hope was mud from the barn, you took one look and demanded that she 'take off the fanc (your word) and put on the farm!' It became a meme for the rest of the weekend.



I keep meaning to bring up your air guitar and burgeoning singing skills. Air guitar first: You have developed this hysterical habit of rocking out on an imaginary guitar whenever something appropriate comes on, and with the old classic rock I subject you to, you get a lot of opportunities. Let me know if you figure out why all those random guitar solos ever got inserted into so many popular songs. Or why they went away. It is really funny though, because you've taken your air guitaring to a whole new level, getting right into it with a face of extreme concentration, arms flailing, etc. And as to the singing, well, you received a microphone that plugs into your Mom's iphone, and with the help of a karaoke app, have been singing yourself hoarse lately. You've also been taking to writing your own music and then performing it. I love how into these sorts of things you throw yourself. Its inspiring.



The only real downside of that level of enthusiasm that you put on your endeavours, is that when you feel that you've failed or made a mistake, you take it very hard. I worry sometimes that this means that you're going to be constantly disappointed in yourself, but hopefully its nothing quite so dramatic. I hope that you will soon get to a point where you realize that its ok to make mistakes.

Next month should be a fun one for you. Back to school, more skiing, hopefully some ice fishing.

I love you,

Daddy