Your strong will shows up in seemingly all aspects of life. When you want to listen to music you command it (from Alexa). When you want parmesan cheese on everything on your dinner plate you order it repeatedly. We need to figure out a way to temper down your demand into requests. Earlier this month we strung you and your brother from Stockholm to Ghent to Amsterdam. Aside from the time zone struggles, we were most concerned about... your chocolate milk demands.
Yes, like the lore of a high-maintenance music star demanding only green M&Ms in the green room, you have a rider enforcing chocolate milk wherever you sleep or wake. You actually slept very little on the airplane -- the hardest place to fetch lukewarm chocolate milk -- as you binged on Pixar and Dreamworks movies. Luckily, our hotel in Stockholm had a coffee bar with a ready milk supply and frother. Our Airbnb in Ghent didn't have the same accommodations, but we were able to find chocolate milk at the grocery, which is not in the chilled section -- concerning us -- and that got you through the rest of the trip.
We developed a funny little game on that trip where you would say, "Um, I have a question. I'm two." I would reply, "I have a question. I'm 35." And then you would try to remember your Mom's age and Matteo's age in the same pattern. I enjoy these strange little conversations. Other frequent topics are "The baby in my belly," which you name Eliza, and call-and-response etiquette where you get to say, "Ohhh thank you, Daddy," and "You're wellll-come, Daddy." We have these on video because your inflections are adorable.
Just a couple days after we arrived back home, I was back on a plane for a work trip to New York. Let me tell you, traveling without you kiddos is E-A-S-Y. I love you and all, but you don't travel light. While on the flight I was able to watch a continuous movie without pause or interruption, a drastic contrast, and enjoyed a film called Lady Bird. It’s a classic coming-of-age plot that reminded me of all the tough, exciting parts of being a teenager and becoming a young adult.
That slice of life feels so slow in the moment but so fast looking back.
There’s a classic parent-daughter tension in the movie, and I’m curious if we’ll see some of that. You already have strong opinions about yourself and the decisions we make for you. Hell, you only gave us the first 18 months of our life to pick out what you wear.
Whenever you appreciate it or not, your mother is simply the best resource for how to navigate your own path. She has made so many of the right choices, and that’s admirable because the right choices are the hardest ones to make. Making the right choices consistently is even harder, which is why your Mom is a damn anomaly. Of course, you won’t be her or me or some fractional equation of us. You are your own person that will only have shades of your mother’s looks and tendencies. Not a bad place to start. Of course, you won't realize or appreciate this until you're well into adulthood, because that's how life works. Wisdom is a learned trait like that. It comes with age.
Speaking of age, I have a question. I'm 35.