I’ll start this letter with an anecdote: A couple weeks ago, I watched you walk up to your brother and kick him squarely in the groin.
He didn’t solicit the violence by any of his usual annoyances. You simply felt obliged to put him down on his knees. Fortunately, Matteo is still in a thick-diaper stage and probably had a little liquid padding so he seemed unfazed by the kick. I felt a split-decision in the moment to scold you or encourage you. Obviously it’s unkind to attack your brother and without apparent cause, but I am also thrilled how you’ve learned an important tactic in self-defense.
So I chose not to react at all.
The anecdote is also representative of some of your recent behaviors. You’ve been quick to yell, kick and scream in otherwise calm situations. Especially in cases you don’t like something, you let us know firmly. A simple question at the dinner table like, “Would you like some rice?” results in a high pitched, high volume “No!” or even an immediate tantrum.
Before any backcountry skiing tours I check an avalanche report to check the stability of the snow pack. I wish there was the same service for toddler stability. On a related note, we are coming off of an ALL-TIME snowstorm and have been sledding and playing in the snow non-stop. These are some of the best days to be a child, or adult with childlike wonder.
I attribute the emotional flares to growing up fast. You’re not a tall kid, but I see the height spurts and waves of intellectual growth. You are achieving a lot of simple math and focus on memorizing how to spell and write family names. You channel most of your energy positively creatively, which is fantastic. You are a prolific artist, creating several pages per hour of drawings, sticker art, and treasure map production.
I keep waiting for the art that expresses the origin of why you kicked Matteo in the balls that day, but some parts of life are probably best left unexplained.