I don't have time to wax fantastic. My son and husband are sleeping upstairs, and an alarm will go off in five minutes heralding the day. I will be expected to begin the whirlwind preparations to get our family out of the house in time to take a weeklong vacation. So without beating around the bush, here's what I wanted to say.
My son, at 3, is so much like me that I feel as if I have switched bodies. My parents tell stories about how much I talked, about how my dad once said to me when I was sick -- affectionately, though it might not sound that way to you -- "Oh, so that's what you look like with your mouth shut." My Kung Fu Panda keeps up a constant patter: a commentary on our life, as it moves around us, complete with songs and stories. I remember sitting in the back seat of our car, as we went somewhere, telling my family stories that I was sure they needed in order to be entertained during the trip. I wonder now if they simply tuned me out, much as they loved my silly self.
I used to showboat on a wide landing to the living room, which I called my stage, but my son does not need one. He shows off anywhere: recently trying out different emotions for me, as I called them out to him, to demonstrate his burgeoning acting skills.
KFP shows off his acting abilities
My mom says I used to burst into her room on a Saturday morning with a stack of books, demanding, "Read to me!" KFP is also a book lover, and like me, he memorizes his favorite books in order to "read" them out loud. My parents say they used to wonder if I was actually reading until they tested me with a book I had not yet read. I couldn't read it. KFP loves to "read" his books aloud, and lately, he's gotten so good at remembering the words that if I didn't know any better, I'd think he was actually reading it.
KFP reading "A Big Guy Took My Ball" by Mo Willems
I wish I had more time to talk about all the ways he amazes me, like adopting the baby doll who served as our "stunt baby" for the Baby and You class my husband, The Gryphon, and I took while I was pregnant. He's named her Fiesta, and he coddles her with a gentleness I hope he will possess forever. I'd like to think I am equally nurturing, that he gets his ideas about being a good parent from me.
In these precious few seconds before the house comes alive and the day's chaos begins, let me speak directly to my boy. If you are like me, you may sometimes trust people for the wrong reasons, or love someone who doesn't love you back. Have faith that true love will find you, and while you may have to learn to recognize users, don't give up on everyone. There is goodness out there.
You are creative, and creativity is both a blessing and a curse. You might struggle to find a way to achieve something with your talents, but you will also feel driven to keep creating no matter what. Take it from me: art is its own reward. Don't ever give up on using it to express itself, whether or not you can make a career of it.
You may not always see the world the same as others see it. You may not agree about the stereotypes about men and women, young and old, fat and thin, etc., etc. Don't give in to ignorance: don't let it kill the parts of you that feel genuine and right. Be the person you believe you are, and forget about the naysayers.
Keep telling stories, even when you think no one is listening. Our stories power this great, revolving orb. Songs are the electricity of life.
No matter where you are, I am with you. My DNA, my breath, my life.