Today was “history day” according to Mama and Daddy. Daddy tells me that Boston is a really old city and that it has a lot of history in the making of our country. All that I know is that where we went was beautiful all around us… both the old and the new.
We went to the Boston Common, Quincy Market, Faneuil Hall, the U.S.S. Constitution, and the site of the Boston Massacre, walking most of Boston’s Freedom Trail. There were a lot of fights a long time ago in Boston in order to make us our own country, and we walked over the ground at a lot of places where people fought and left the Earth in order to earn us that freedom. Our U.S.S. Constitution and our Declaration of Independence both came from this according to my Daddy, and he said that one day I would understand what those mean and that the things that I am able to do in our country came partially from the ground that we walked today. The spirit of Boston was here, and I could feel it, even though there were a lot of people walking around going to work who were so busy that they didn’t even seem to see everything around us. They appreciate it, though, I know, because are able to do all of those busy things because of the Founding Fathers, the fathers of all of us Americans, came before us and helped us to be able to do the things that we are able to do today.
After going through the old buildings full of food and shops, we went to a carousel. I have ridden a carousel with my big sister Addie at the museum a long time ago, but this was a big one that was outside and full of different types of animals. It wasn’t old like the other things that we had seen—it was new, and bright, and beautiful in a different way.
Mama, Daddy and me went on a ship that rocked back and forth since I am not big enough to go on the animals yet. It went really fast, but I wasn’t scared because I’m brave… well, maybe just a little scared, but I didn’t show it at all.
Then we went over a big bridge that Mama and Daddy said was scary because you could see the water below on part of it. Right before the scary water part, there was a sign on the ground saying “Acrophobia Friendly Zone,” which Mama and Daddy said was funny because that means a fear of heights.
We had to go over that bridge, though, to get to the U.S.S. Constitution and museum in the Charleston Navy Yard. Daddy was excited because he was in the Navy a long time ago and loves the history of the Navy, although he said that the boat that he was on was way newer and bigger than the Constitution and was called the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which is an “air craft carrier.” He says that I’ll get to see one of those someday, too.
All day I got to work on getting stamps in my little National Passport Book from the National Park Service. Mama and Daddy got me one in California so that I could have stamps from all of the National Park Places that I get to go to all the way through my lifetime. They said I’ll appreciate it one day, but for right now, it is in safe keeping with them because they know that I slobber on all of my little books from my bookshelf.
Our day ended with us seeing all of the lights around the city light up as the sun went down and seeing the Bunker Hill Monument in the background. It was very cold but very pretty, and then we were on the way home on the T train so that I could get warm and rest. We appreciate you, Boston, and how helped to make us into the country that we are today. I really like being free—I don’t even like being held back from climbing—and the people who have come before us in Boston have helped me to be able to climb higher and higher, as high as I want.
Daddy and I went to the store the other day and bought crayons. We had crayons in the house already and I have seen my big sisters doing something called coloring where they make pictures pretty, but I have never had them in my hands for very long before because Mama told me that I wasn’t quite ready for the little ones yet and that I would crush them with my little hands. Daddy got me big, wide ones made for me. They are something called “washable,” which my Mama says is really important because I don’t know what to make art on and what not to make art on yet.
They fit my hands just right, and I can put them against the giant paper pad that Daddy bought and color appears. Daddy sat and showed me how, and he even drew me a picture that Mama read and told me says “I love Dorian” with little sunshines and hearts on it.
I don’t really get how to do it yet, though, because when I put my hand against the paper I get little lines that you can barely see, and when Daddy or Mommy does it, they get bright and darker color on the paper. I sat right on the table, my favorite place to sit (which worries Mama silly) and I drew. I didn’t make any pictures, but I did get some scribbles on there for all the world to see. Daddy said that it is beautiful because all art is beautiful, and it is my creation so he loves it… even though it is barely there.
I love my new crayons most, though, because I can put them in the box and take them back out again, over and over and over. I can also scoot around with them in my hands and they are easy to hold on to. Later, when my hands work more like I want for them to, I can make crayon art like my big sisters, and I will make beautiful pictures like the ones that I see in my dreams. Until then, my crayon friends, you can nap in the box and I will get you out to play and to practice.
Mama and Daddy have been working with me walking for a while now. They are working hard to help me, and they are holding my hands while I go in circles around the house. I can even go with them holding one hand when I am strong. I am practicing my standing now, and I stand and stand and stand and I balance. I will walk soon, but I am not ready, and when I get ready to take steps forward, my mind tells me that it is not time yet and I sit instead and crawl ahead. I am faster that way.
I may not walk, but I can climb. I have been climbing up and up and up on the couch, on the bed, on the chairs, even on the table. I can get to one place and then another one that is higher up and then another if I put things together like steps. I can even climb an entire staircase, and I can get right back down again by carefully sliding backwards with my little legs. It’s hard work, because the steps are about half of me each, but I can do it because it means getting to other, new places.
One day, not long from now, I will take off. I will take flight, and I will go and go and go and go and go and run and run and run. For now, I will climb to the highest of heights that my little legs will let me, despite my Mama’s and Daddy’s worry, and I will be just fine. Don’t worry, Mama and Daddy… I may stumble, but I know that you will be right there to catch me. You always, always are after all—right behind me, helping to lift me up and make me better when I fall.
I am writing this letter to you, Dorian, my beautiful and miraculous daughter. You are over one, and I began this blog to share your life with others, but truly, I began it so that you could have something that you can look back on when you are older. It is a documentation of your life. It is your life. It is you. It is the essence of your personality, which is ever growing. Every passing day, you grow. You get bigger, you get more confident, you show new talents.
You are a bright light, so blinding that I can hardly comprehend it. You are a gift. You are a blessing. You are my life. You are your father’s life. You are loved. You always will be loved and supported by both of us, and you will always know love. Not a day goes by that you have not, and not a day goes by as long as we are living and breathing (and even after, dear, we are still beside you for all of your days).
You are our last. We are raising four beautiful, intelligent, wonderful people, and you are the last of those. We have the privilege to see small people become bigger ones, to become more self-assured, to become… adults. That is why I am writing you. You are now one, only one year old. You will, though, be two before I blink, then three, then four. You will walk. You will speak in complete and well-constructed sentences (I am an English instructor, so you are assured of this as I am a grammatical perfectionist). You will learn history, science, math, English, art. You will have a favorite. You will have favorite teachers and favorite music. You will dream. You will dream of what you can be, and you will yearn to achieve what you wish for most. I hope nothing more than for you to get it. All of it… the world in the palm of your hands. You are a ball of potential, and you have the Earth as a canvas in front of you for you to create what you wish from it. You do, and will, make the world more beautiful because you are in it.
You will hurt. You will fall, you will bleed, you will get bruised. You will cry from that pain, and inside I will hurt each time that you do. You will hurt on the inside, deep down in places where no one can really see, but I will see it, and I will hurt with you. You will be heartbroken, you will suffer loss, you will have disappointment. That kind of hurt is so much more painful than when you fall—and I will want to protect you, but I won’t be able to. I can’t shield you from the world. You have not suffered these things yet, but you will. Your Dad and I will be right there with you, and I can promise that we will hurt more than you each and every time. You may not always choose to see it, but we will be there right behind you, holding you up.
You will grow. Despite your father’s and my best efforts, you will grow faster than I can comprehend. You already are. Your personality shows in everything that you do—you gorgeous and blindingly beautiful girl—and you are well established already in your ability to see the world for what it truly is… and it is a beautiful world if you look through all of the ugly presented to us each day.
Please, my sweet girl, please don’t grow too fast. I look at you every day with joy and happiness, with a love that is so deep and engrained in my soul that it hurts sometimes. Your Dad and I can do many, many things, but one thing that we can’t do is to slow time down. I wish more than anything that we could. My wonder, my life, my child… if I have one piece of advice for you, it is to slow down, when you can, when you know the difference between acting as a child and acting as an adult. Slow down and continue the path of innocence. The life you lead as an adult will be waiting for you, but the life you had as a child you can never, ever get back once you walk past it.
I love you with every single piece of me… not one speck left.
Love always and always and always,