on being five

My dear Littler Prince,

How is it possible that you are already five?  It doesn’t seem like that could be.  How has it been five years already?

It’s funny, though, at the same time I also want to ask, how has it only been five years?  The way you keep up with your older brother, not just in games but in the way you talk and interact with everyone in your life, it seems like you are so much older sometimes.  How has it only been five years?  How are you doing all the things you are doing?

I can still picture you as a newborn, your hair red and wild, and that look that said, “Get ready world, I’m coming for you.”  The world wasn’t ready for you then and it still isn’t.  Your energy and your passion and your determination and your curiosity are going to take you far.  That’s indisputable.

It leads to clashes now and then, of course, when your strong will runs into your older brothers strong will, or mine, or the Queens.  That’s okay.  When that happens, we aren’t trying to keep you from following your passions, we’re just trying to manage the day or keep you safe, or other boring but essential adulating things.  And, the good news is that as you continue to grow and learn the clashes will get fewer and father between.

So, another year gone?  It wasn’t filled with as many big adventures as our years usually are.  Soon, we may start embarking on those again, but for now we contented ourselves with smaller adventures closer to home.  You took the training wheels off your bike this year.  You took an interest in words this year, asking how to spell things, creating words of your own, really playing with language.  You sat at your older brother’s elbow for most of his schooling too.  (That’s all the curiosity mentioned above coming in.)  There were hikes and local, but new to us, camping trips.  There were water balloon fights in the summer.  There were puddle stomping sessions.  There were Lego building marathons.  There was so much squeezed in that one year that it wouldn’t be possible to capture it all here.  I hope you’ve got some good memories that you’ll hang onto for years and years. 

I know I do. 

And, I know I’m curious what the year ahead has in store for you.  It’s going to be another busy one.  Every day an adventure in its own right.

And, no, the world still won’t be ready for you, but that’s okay.  You’re going to shape it how it needs to be anyway.

Can’t wait.

Love you.

Love,

Daddy/Matticus/The Jester

And then there were three

Dear Littlest Prince,

I believe you may be a surprise, certainly not to yourself – that will come later – but to some of my readers, to some of even the most faithful of the kingdomites. We didn’t plan on keeping you a secret and we didn’t mean for it to come to this, where you are here and there are still several people near and dear to us that likely didn’t even know you were coming, and yet here you are, here we all are. This year has been a strange one. Your arrival is most definitely one of the bright spots.

Your brothers, the Little Prince and the Littler Prince, already adore you and, of course, already want to know when you will be able to play. They stayed up late to see you, to say hello to you, literal seconds after you were born. The Little Prince helped cut the umbilical cord. They both made toys for you, each hoping you might grab on to the one they made first. They have helped pick out some of the outfits for your first days. They have watched and asked questions and been present in those days. Yes, they already adore you.

Oh, the magical years you have ahead of you. Three brothers, with worlds to conquer for and against each other. Three brothers with mischief to make and wrongs to right. Three brothers in a family that embraces adventure.

The Queen and I, the humble Jester, promised adventure in our vows to each other, and we have promised it to each of our sons in turn. The adventures won’t always be fun. The adventures won’t always be the ones you want to have. That isn’t the point. That isn’t what the promise is about.

You will see amazing things. You will travel. You will discover. You will learn and love and lose and live. Music will be a part of it. The mountains will be a part of it. The ocean will be a part of it. And you will help us find new paths to walk. We will walk them together, the five of us. For no matter what the adventures bring, we will see them through as a family. That is part of the promise as well.

So, my dear Littlest Prince, welcome to the family. You are loved more than this writer could attempt to capture with mere words. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings, and the day after that, and the day after that…

Love,

Daddy – Matticus – The Jester

On being seven

Dear Little Prince,

What a ride?  What a journey?  What an adventure?

Yes, yes, they aren’t always good adventures… that’s not the point and I think you are now aware enough and old enough to begin to understand that.  We adventure in this kingdom.  Sometimes those adventures are fun.  Sometimes those adventures are work.  Always, always, we do it together and see our way through.  That’s at the core of being part of this family.

First grade and a pandemic.  A growing little brother that adores you and tortures you in equal measure.  Star Wars, Harry Potter (again), bike rides, hikes, math worksheets, and the never ending stream of questions.  They whys, the whats the hows, the whens.  Never ending.  Your curiosity is as fierce as it has ever been, as fierce as your confidence and stubbornness.  It is these qualities that will have you rise up to rule the world one day.  I joke but I’m serious at the same time.

You’re still a weed, getting taller and faster and stronger and learning all the time, sponging in the obscure facts from the history of the world audiobooks you listen to on repeat.  You still struggle with some lessons and most of those are the ones we all struggle with: patience, impulse control, patience, empathy and patience.  Don’t worry overly much about that, though.  In time, you’ll learn these lessons as well as any of the rest of us have.

I know I’m too hard on you sometimes and I hope you can forgive me.  I see this greatness in you and I want to get every bit of it to come out and shine.  So about that patience?  Yes, I know, it is one of my faults as well.  As I said, we all struggle with it at times.  You’ll get there.  I know you will.

You’ll get there flying on your bike and running up those trails.  You’ll get there with your lego learned engineering and artistic skills that already outstrip my own.  You’ll get there with your passion and confidence.  And then you will shine, shine, shine till I go blind from the burning brilliance and my refusal to look away, out of pride and love and my own stubbornness.

You keep being you.  Trust in that.  You’ll see.  You will move mountains, as they say.

Love you kiddo,

Daddy

Matticus

The Jester

On being three

I’m a little behind on these posts. Life in the kingdom, as everywhere, has been strange of late and the change to my routines in that strangeness took away my normal wiring time. Plus I forgot.  It happens, you know. Then I was reminded and here we are.

…..

Dear Littler Prince,

So this is three?  Wild and amazing and cranky and empathetic and constantly surprising.  The current state of affairs has certainly thrown what little routine you’d grown used to out the window and you just shrugged your shoulders and carried on.  Part of that is having your brother around, of course, but most of that is just who you are.  You take things in stride, come what may.  That doesn’t factor in when you are tired or hungry.  Then the raging tantrums shake the walls and rattle the windows.  That’s all part of it.  Normal.  Expected.  And perfectly fine.

Your laugh, wild like your hair and your exuberance, is perfectly fine as well.  It also shakes the walls and rattles the windows and reverberates with a joy that is nothing short of infectious.  It fills this house and bursts free at the seams.  I hope you laugh that way forever.  I hope your world continues to be so full of things to laugh at.

You took to your scooter the way your older brother took to his bike.  You zoom and swerve and fall and pick yourself back up and zoom off again.  Faster and more fearless with each passing day.  It too is a joy to behold.

Then the tantrums come and you curl your fists up and your eyes well with tears and you scream and scream and scream.  Those will pass, of course.  They always do.  In the moment and in general.  Though, perhaps I’ll miss the times when the solution to those is a hug and a cuddle, or a silly face made in passing, or any of the other little things that can often cheer you up that you will one day outgrow.  The transition will be slow but it has already begun.

I will miss those days more than you… and this isn’t about me, so I’ll move along.

What this all comes down to is you are learning (exponentially), you are growing (like a weed), you are silly (perhaps like a certain Jester), you are crazy (like all of us here) and, to overuse the word, a joy.  It’s as simple as that.

And long may that continue.

Love you kiddo,

Daddy

Matticus

The Jester

3 months in the life

Dear LITTLER Prince,

(And, yes, that is an important distinction to make.)

You are 3 months old! Oh my goodness. When did that happen? And how? And all the other questions! Okay, okay, I know three months isn’t very long, but it is still all you’ve known. And, considering the first couple months of your life are often referred to as the fourth trimester, it is a quarter of your entire existence. That’s a big chunk of time.

You are progressing nicely away from bump on a log status. Your kung fu fighting is still going strong and you’ve started to kick yourself almost into a roll. You aren’t quite there yet, but one day soon you will get yourself rolled over from back to front. Then it will only be a matter of time before you are headed off to college. Hmm, maybe I’m jumping ahead a bit there, but sometimes that’s how it feels. I’m certainly not in a hurry for that. I’m loving every second of you right now.

The faces you make, including the almost smile, maybe that was a smile, did I just see a dimple, there! there! that was definitely a smile moments. The sounds you make, from the sweet coos to the happy screeches. Okay, the shrieking cries in my ear aren’t my favorite thing, but you don’t do those that often anyway. The drool… and I know that’s a weird thing to like, but I can’t help it. Your drooly little face is adorable. And, you’ve started shoving everything you can into your mouth. Well, you try to shove everything in. Somethings are too big and sometimes you miss. And that’s okay too, because you really shouldn’t be putting stuff in there in the first place. But, you will because that’s how you explore, and that’s okay too.

Then, beyond all of that, my current favorite part of your first three months has been how awestruck you are with your big brother. You hear his voice and look around until you find him and then you stare and stare and stare. It is sweet and adorable and, as a younger brother myself, it hopefully speaks to the good friendship you two will forge in the years ahead. I’m excited for you.

So, keep on keeping on. Learn all the things. Your mom and I, and big brother, will help you along as best we can. And, you’ve got a whole kingdom cheering you on, too. You’re doing great.

Love you,

Daddy / Matticus / The Jester