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

On being eight

My dear Little Prince,

Not so little anymore, huh? 

I say, “You can’t be eight, you look twelve,” not as a joke but because some days I have no idea how you ARE only eight.  You are amazingly good with your little brothers.  You are more self-sufficient than I remember being at eight.  Admittedly, that was a long time ago but still…

You are still amazing on your bike.  And your ability and my trust in you has grown so much that we’ve started going on longer rides, including running some errands that take us on busy city streets.  You are fearless and confident on your bike.  And in most aspects of your life, actually.  That is going to take you far.

You are so inquisitive about everything.  EVERYTHING.  You ask more questions in a day than I ask in a month it seems.  I’m glad I still have the answers to most of those questions.  One of these days though we’ll be looking up the answers together.  Learning, the adventure that never ends. 

I probably don’t tell you enough how proud I am of you.  And I know I’m too hard on you at times, and I’m sorry about that.  I forget that despite how you act most days, you aren’t actually twelve.  I’m trying to curb my expectations and when I push too hard I do always eventually catch myself and apologize.  I hope you can forgive me. 

Given your insatiable inquisitive nature, your confidence, and your determination in all things, it isn’t a joke when I say, “you are going to rule the world some day.”  Perhaps that isn’t quite right?  You aren’t going to rule the world.  You are going to change it.  You are going to shape it, mold it, pound it into something better.  I can’t wait to see what that is.

Love you kiddo,

Daddy/Matticus/The Jester

So this is six months

My dear Littlest Prince,

Okay, okay, this is a little late.  I’m sorry.  You are seven months now.  Nearly eight, actually.  So it goes in our return to the toddlerocracy….

Okay, okay.  You aren’t a toddler yet.  But, maybe I wasn’t talking about you?

Oh…  It is so much fun watching you learn every day.  Sometimes you seem to have grown an inch or two after every nap.  And you always seem to have learned something new after each nap.  From crawling everywhere.  To watching your big brothers play and then doing your best to follow after them to join in their fun.  To being determined to figure out the stairs.  To pulling yourself up on every surface you possibly can.  To all the amazing babblying and bubble blowing noises and faces you make.  To the sheer joy on recognizing someone as they enter the room you are in.  You smile so big, so amazingly, so full of life and love.  It’s infectious.

Just as you are bound and determined to keep up with your big brothers in every other aspect, you are breaking their records by already having ten teeth and working on some more it seems, given the drool and the fussing.  Everything goes in your mouth.  Every  single thing you can get your hands on.  So it goes. 

I wonder what tricks you’ll learn in the next six months?  You seem like you are already working on walking.  You seem like you are just bursting to say words.  Okay, not yet.   But it is only a matter of time.

Time…  It is something there just doesn’t seem to be enough of most days.  But, your time will come.  You will learn all the things and conquer all the things to be conquered.

Your brothers will set the example there.

I can’t wait to see it.

Love you,

Daddy/Matticus/The Jester

On being four

My dear Little Prince,

So this is four?  Four trips around the sun.  Four years old…

Four years of tantrums and giggles, adventures and growth.  And this last year was exceptional for so many reasons.  You became a big brother.  You lost out on story time at Library.  You went camping for the first time.  You learned all about wearing masks.  Tantrums.  Joy.  Up and down.  Good and bad.  A year as a rollercoaster as, truthfully, most are.  Perhaps this year was more down than up?  That’s hard to say.  It was certainly different in unexpected ways.  I’ll venture that it was still a very good year for you.

And you have another good year ahead of you.  You’re going to learn so much.  You’ve already started practicing riding a bike and writing your name.  You’ve been listening in on your big brother’s math and language lessons and know some of that already as well.  This year you’ll pick up even more without even trying.  That’s a bonus of being a younger brother.  The eldest child will always be the first at everything but the younger siblings will pick up things faster because they’ve heard it before, seen it before.  I know.  I’m a younger brother myself.

Also like me, you are incredibly empathetic.  The Queen and I adore that about you.  It’s an admirable trait for sure.  It means you will have some tough days because you feel not just for yourself but for all of us.  There has been a lot to feel this year.  And, likely, that will always be true in different ways.  You’ll turn this trait into a skill you can wield to conquer worlds.  You have that charm and that fire.

It will not all be smooth sailing, of course.  You will still have your struggles.  But, they will get easier.  Each day, week, and month.  You’ll really start to get an understanding of some of the nuances that make our little family tick, and the wider world as a whole too.  And those rough patches of misunderstandings and tantrums will become fewer and farther between. 

And I can’t wait to see how different you are in another year.

Love you,

Daddy

Matticus

The Jester

On being six

Dear Little Prince,

Though you aren’t so little anymore, are you?  With six years behind you.  With most of Kindergarten behind you.  With all of the adventures you’ve had in the last year.  Piano lessons.  Archery lessons.  Snowboarding in Mammoth.  Snowboarding in Colorado.  Growing into the role of big brother, champion of and for the Littler Prince.  I don’t have the right words to tell you how proud I am of you, but that won’t stop me from trying.

I catch glimpses of the person you are becoming and have no doubt that you will change the world.  You are fiercely passionate and, while that can get you in trouble from time to time, that drive will see you take control of your environment and shape it into what it should be.  You are a leader and will have the charisma to inspire.  You still ask thousands of questions a day, and that curiosity about the world, that drive to understand, will also work for you.  It already is as you grasp new concepts and better yourself, gain knowledge.  You happily tackle new projects.  You want to over-achieve not because you want to be better than anyone else but because you genuinely are interested in things beyond what society has deemed appropriate for your age.  Your passion and your inquisitiveness will help you succeed in whatever you choose to with your life.

You love your brother and want to see him succeed as well.  That too can get you in trouble when you try to be a parent to him but the two of you will figure that out over the coming years and will be friends for life.  That friendship will be more valuable than you know.  You are putting in the hard work now to build that relationship when he is too young to understand more than it is fun to drive you crazy.  Stick with it and he will support you in everything you ever do.  As a younger brother myself, I know this to be true.

We have our rough moments, of course.  You still have so much to learn about being a part of this family and being a part of this world.  Every single day, though, you surprise me with how much you’ve already learned and sometimes that makes me forget how much you still need to learn.  I do my best to be patient and to give you the space and time you need to figure things out and I’m sorry that I sometimes fail you.  We’ll get there eventually.  We’ll figure this thing out together.  I have no doubts about that.  We are both too stubborn not to.

So, I’ll continue doing everything I can to help you become the best person you can be and I’m looking forward to seeing what the next year brings for you.  New adventures.  New knowledge.  New wisdom.  I think your sixth year will be even more amazing than your fifth.

Love you,

Dad/Matticus/The Jester