Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dear Arlo (By Danny)


Dear Arlo,

I’m not sure when or if you’ll ever read this, but I just wanted to write down a few things, partly for you but also partly so I can remember the little things that have happened over the last ten and a half weeks.

The day you were born, as well as the days leading up to your birth, were the most magical and wonderful times of our lives. Your mom went into labor with you while we were at Uncle Joe’s house for Easter Dinner. We already knew you were going to be an interesting boy, but Easter Dinner solidified our beliefs.

It took your mother and me a long time to have you. You see, you have brothers or sisters that should have been born on June 27th and October 29th, 2012, but God, Fate, the Universe, whatever you want to call it, had other plans. For whatever reason, those brothers or sisters weren’t meant for this world. After we lost your first sibling, we thought it was just bad luck. After the second loss we began to worry that we’d never be able to have you. There was an extremely terrifying moment when we thought we were going to lose you, too. I’ll spare you the details, but you might as well know that you should have had a twin. That twin, as it seems, wasn’t meant for this world, either.

We didn’t lose you, though; you hung on tight because you were determined to make us a family. I’ll never forget the ultrasound picture that was taken right after we thought we were losing you. You were just a little bean with tiny little arm and leg buds. In the picture it looked like you were waving or hanging on to something. I liked to joke that you fought the odds, kicking and screaming “I’m not done cooking!”, and holding on to your life to become the center of ours.

At two and a half months old, we can already see your personality emerging. Every day you get to see or experience something for the first time, and your mother and I can almost remember what it’s like to be filled with childlike amazement and wonder.

For the most part, you’re a happy boy. You smile a lot, and your first smile was after I gave you an Eskimo kiss. Your mom discovered that you love having your face touched and it almost always brings a smile to your face and makes you coo with happiness.

You giggle in your sleep and, as of ten minutes ago, when you’re awake. You love to do stretches and grunts… every time you wake from a deep sleep, you stretch with both arms over your head and let out some caveman-like noises. When we change your diaper, you make noises like a little horse.

When you’re startled, you throw both of your arms out to the sides (we’ve learned that this is called the Moro Reflex, and it’s one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen… and sometimes I startle you on purpose just so you’ll do it).

When we take you outside you love the feel of the breeze against your skin, the sun on your face, and the sounds of birds chirping. Sometimes you’ll let out a happy scream when something catches your attention. Little, everyday things that your mother and I take for granted and may even dismiss as trite are suddenly amazing when we get to see your reaction to them.

I’m not sure what else to tell you right now, except that if there was ever anything we did right, it was making you. I also don’t have much advice to give you yet, and quite honestly, I hate being given unsolicited advice. But I’m your Dad, so I do have a little fatherly advice. As you get older, it’ll be harder and harder to keep your sense of childlike wonder, to find joy and excitement in everyday occurrences. Find a way to let the world amaze you. Be childlike without being childish. If you ever feel like you’re becoming jaded, stay up all night and watch the sun rise.

I love you more than you can imagine,


Anonymous said...


Nicole said...

Aww so sweet.

jessica dukes said...

precious. lucky baby, blessed daddy.