Aug 12, 2010
Here you are, close to celebrating three years under your belt, my sweet Enlai. And just as I wished for you the moment I first saw you as a tiny dot on a screen, I wish you love. A love that you know and feel.
I wish you more running through sprinklers, rolling down hills, and making sand and snow angels. Perhaps this year I will consider building some sort of stick, leaf and rock repository so that you no longer have to leave behind your park souvenirs.
I wish you more jumping on beds. And I hope you never lose your love of blankets and pillows – lots and lots of pillows.
I wish you more somersaults and the mastering of a cartwheel.
I wish for you to be sincere and for others to be sincere to you. And when you’re with someone, really be with that someone.
I wish for you an appreciation of the Tumbleweed and Outer Space Crayola crayon colours.
I wish for you to remain one of the best storytellers I know. You seem to have been born with a pilgrim soul, and I hope you will see, hear, smell, feel and taste stories along the way, telling some and keeping some for yourself.
I wish for you to always remain ticklish.
I wish that you will listen to Joe Cocker and Otis Redding songs loudly and while you’re alone. And I hope that you will appreciate Chopin’s Nocturnes and the geniuses that are Thelonius Monk and Charles Mingus. I hope that Nina Simone will always sound familiar to you, and I hope someone writes a song just for you.
I wish for you to find passages in books that will never leave you.
I wish you more moments of utter laughter like the few times you had a serious case of the giggles while brushing your teeth and never actually brushed your teeth because the toothpaste ran down your front and dropped to the floor, followed by your toothbrush a few seconds later. And the time you talked about pepperoni pizza in the car with your Uncle Ronnie.
I wish you teachers – both inside and outside the classroom – that make positive impacts on you. And at least one teacher that makes you memorise an e.e. cummings, Bukowski or a Wordsworth poem.
I wish for you to have a favourite t-shirt.
I wish for you to remember to say thank you and please, to hold doors open and to offer your seat to another who needs it more than you.
I wish for you to make tamales and homemade pasta along with friends and family. And I hope you will never be far from a good bakery.
I wish for you to have long pub lunches in London and fried sardines and white sangria in Formentera. I wish for you greasy burgers and not enough napkins in Los Angeles.
I wish you love affairs. And even a broken heart.
I wish you will visit the Centre Georges Pompidou on a rainy evening and see the Tour Eiffel lit up through a rain-streaked window. Or a visit to Santorini, with your own terrace to watch the sun set over the Aegean Sea. I wish you a US cross-country drive, but not in an Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce and not under a tight deadline. I wish you a bike ride in Nantucket and the beach to yourself for a few hours.
I hope that you will find at least one piece of artwork that begs for you to stare at it for hours.
You, my amazing son, have brought happiness to so many people. You have introduced me to a happiness I didn’t know existed. Here’s to the adventures that await you and to knowing that I will always be here for you.