So this is 40

My dear Jester,

Yes, that’s me.  Yes, I’m writing a letter to myself.  I did that last year too.  I think.  I guess I could look it up but it really isn’t that important.  Anyway…

So, this is 40…?

*Looks around and nods.*

Okay.  This is 40.

Why shouldn’t it be?  You’ve had quite the adventure. 

Married.  Three kids.  Two cats.  Home owner. 

Six cities.  Ten jobs.  More roles than that.  More managers than that too as it turns out.

You’ve been to the top of more mountain passes than you can remember.  You’ve snowboarded on seven different mountains.  You’ve been to (at least) sixteen different states.  You’ve been to four different countries. 

You’ve been a DJ, a beach bum, a blogger.  You’ve been a raver, a husband, a father.  You’ve been a friend, a brother, a son.  You’ve been lost, mentally and physically.  You’ve been a part of four published books and you have words in at least that many still waiting to be published. 

You see?  Adventures a plenty.  Why, you could write a story for each of the sentences above.  The time you watched the sun rise over the mesas on a backpacking trip in New Mexico.  The time you were in whiteout conditions on the slopes in Colorado.  The time you thought you might like to try and become a professional beach volleyball player.  The time you watched your first son being born, your second son being born, your third son being born.  The time you looked down from the top of Whitney.  The second time you looked down from the top of Whitney.  The day you brought your kitten rescues to their forever home.  The day you stood on the side of a mountain and vowed love and adventure to your Queen.  And on and on and on.

Adventures.  A.  Plenty.

So, why the letter at all?  Are you confused about the number?  Are you just bragging about all you’ve been able to accomplish so far?

*Looks around and shrugs shoudlers.*

You don’t know and that’s okay.

I’ll tell you this, my dear Jester, you better hang on tight because there is still so much to do, to see.  There is still so much to learn!  The next 40 years are going to be a whirlwind of adventures.  They won’t all be good, of course.  That’s the way it goes.  That’s as it should be.  But, there will be more good than you can imagine.  And, I know your brain.  I know you can imagine quite a lot. 

So, be patient.  You need to work on that.  Hug your kids.  Kiss your wife.  Pet your cats.  Take the trips.  Put in the hard work when it is needed.  Fix the sinks.  Take care of the house.  Go camping.  Go backpacking.  Go on bike rides and walks.  Go to the beach.  Watch the movies.  Listen to the all the music you possibly can.  Struggle.  Triumph.  Cry.  Smile.  Love every single second of it all as much as you can.

Because why not.

And let me know when the number ticks up one more.  I want to hear what stories you’ll have to share then.

Have a great year,

Matticus

And then he was two, too

My Dearest Littler Prince,

How are you two already?  Where has the time gone?  And why is that we constantly find ourselves asking unanswerable questions about the passage of time?  For, surely, while these days have been lived, and lived well, there is no accounting for where they have gone…

You have come into your role as little brother in these past few months.  You know how to get under your brother’s skin and you often do so just to watch his reaction.  You laugh at his antics and egg him on, much as he does to you.  You hold your own, that’s for sure.  You adore him, too, of course.  You immolate the way you see him playing.  You parrot words back to him.  You ask for him first thing in the morning and then follow him around.

There has been a word explosion recently.  Counting.  Colors.  Names.  Your pronunciation of things still has a ways to go but you have no qualms about calling things out and asking for what you want and need, even as the Queen and I struggle to decipher the toddler code.

Oh, toddlerhood.  The triumphant return of the toddlerocracy under the rule of a new tyrannical toddler…  This is also a role you are quickly adapting to.  Demands and tantrums and making sure your whims or at least heard if not always catered to.  You had a good teacher in this, of course.  The Little Prince ruled the toddlerocracy well.  You, having taken over the prime position, will also do well.  Perhaps it is wishful thinking on our part, the Queen and myself, the Jester, to hope that your rule is shorter than your brothers…

I am excited to see you grow.  I am excited to watch you learn.  I am excited to see what the future has in hold for you, you bruiser, you jumper and climber, you explorer of all the things.

We used to say (and still do) that your brother doesn’t have a quiet bone in his body.  So far it seems that you don’t have a gentle bone in yours.  Not that you are mean and certainly not that you intend to be destructive.  You just are.  You are strong and boisterous and have no clear definition of personal space and that leads to bruises, mostly on the people around you.  You don’t need a splash zone so much as a bump zone.

You’ll get there.  You’ll get the hang of this life thing.  I have no doubt about that.  You are thriving and it is a joy to be along for the ride.

Love you,

Matticus, The Jester, Daddy

A(nother) first year in the life

Oh you rambunctious Littler Prince,

You are one. One! I can’t believe it. And yet, when people ask how long you’ve been walking I answer “forever” because that’s what it feels like. Then I’ll stop and think about it and realize it’s only been about two months. So… not forever. Time is funny like that. You’ll learn that one day. You have so much to learn. 

And you’ve already learned so much. 

You aren’t just walking. You. Are. Running. And climbing. And exploring. And, you’ll find this is important in the kingdom, adventuring.

And teething. Those one year molars are a pain for sure. They’ll be in soon, though, and you’ll be on to the next. Next teeth. Next struggle. Next triumph.

You are good at triumphs, with your squeals of glee when you get what you want and your happy grins and silly little dances. We’ve tried to capture as much of those moments as we can but when you outgrow them some will be lost. And that’s sad, but they will quickly be replaced by new shenanigans. And that is as it should be. 

I’m excited for you and the year ahead. The Queen, Little Prince,  and I will do all we can to make it a good one. 

Love you, 

Daddy 

Matticus 

The Jester

On being 3

IMG_20160327_1039324_rewind

Dear Little Prince,

You are three!  Three!!!  When?  How?  Where?  I think scientists should study life in the kingdom to determine how to replicate time travel, because time is travelling faster than should be possible.  It is doing the laws of physics and nature and definitely the local speed limit.

To start, I should apologize for the tardiness of this letter.  I know you don’t care, and I have more excuses than would fit on this page because life in the toddlerocracy is chaos at the best of times, but you still deserve better, and will try to do better in the future.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, on to the good stuff…

I am so proud of you!  I craft words for fun and have nothing in my arsenal that comes close to accurately describing how amazing you are.  The conversations we have.  Your endless curiosity about the world around you.  The speed with which you picked up using the potty.  Your empathy.  The way you are able to cope with and enjoy the seemingly adventures in the Kingdom.  Your silliness.

Oh my, the silliness.  The giggles.  The laughter.  The dimples and mirth.  There is nothing more restorative in this world than hearing your laugh.

Thank you for your patience as the Queen and I continue to learn our parenting roles.  I fear you will need to also continue being patient for the rest of your life, but I know you will do so with aplomb.  That’s just who you are.  You can count on us to keep striving for our best as we learn and adapt.  It’s an ever changing journey for all of us.

Except, of course, for the one constant: we will always love you.

You won’t ever have to worry about that and hopefully you won’t ever have to worry about anything too serious.  Keep on playing.  Keep on laughing.  Keep on being amazing.  I know, I know, that’s all like telling the sun to keep on shining.  You are who you are: amazing.

I love you, kiddo!

Daddy / the Jester / Matticus

Samara’s Mix-tape Submission

Happy Birthday, Samara!

For my pick in your birthday mix-tape, I selected (the below modified version of) Bruce Springsteen’s “No Surrender.”  The pounding rhythm of the song reminds me of your writing: a driving force that cannot be ignored.  The refrain easily stands in for your show-no-mercy posts.  You tackle sentimental and poignant topics in equal and measured strides, mixing current cultural issues with the experiences of your life.  This song resonates with me in so many ways, from the progression to the content, and for some reason I’m certain it resonates with you as well.  Plus, you are a Boss, too.

I hope you have a wonderful day.

…..

She busted out of class, had to get away from those fools.
She learned more from a three minute record than she ever learned in school.
Tonight she hears the neighborhood drummer sound,
She can feel her heart begin to pound,
She’ll never say she’s tired and never close her eyes to follow her dreams down.

She made a promise she swore she’d always remember:
No retreat, baby, no surrender.
Like soldiers in the winter’s night with a vow to defend:
No retreat, baby, no surrender.

Now young faces grow sad and old and hearts of fire grow cold.
You swore blood curses against the wind.
You’re ready to grow young again,
And hear your brother’s voice calling you home across broken projects.
Well maybe you could cut someplace of your own,
With your words and their effects.

‘Cause you made a promise you swore you’d always remember:
No retreat, baby, no surrender.
Truth writer in the stormy night with a vow to defend:
No retreat, baby, no surrender.

Now on the ‘sphere tonight the lights grow dim.
The walls of your room are closing in.
There’s a war outside still raging,
you say it ain’t ours anymore to win.
You want to sleep beneath peaceful skies in your lover’s bed,
With a wide open country in your eyes,
And these romantic dreams in your head.

Because you made a promise you swore you’d always remember:
No retreat, baby, no surrender.
Blood poet in the stormy night with a vow to defend:
No retreat, baby, no surrender,
No retreat, baby, no surrender.

…..

And here’s the original version for your listening pleasure:

http://new.inlinkz.com/view.php?id=560830