Long time, no talk, kiddo. It’s been a few busy weeks. I’m moving to DC for the summer in t-minus a few weeks. I don’t want to go, but it’ll be good for all of us. In the meantime, I have to finish papers, find a place, paint your room and come up with a topic for my summer research.

I am so tired I can hardly find words for it. I don’t know what it is today, but I’m exhausted. Yesterday, your Aunt Rebecca was trying to explain to Madison that she’s going to have a cousin. She can say “Pickle” and “Violet”, but I don’t think she really understands. I’m not even sure that I do, to be honest.

It’s definitely becoming more real as we become more prepared. The reason I felt like we weren’t ready to be parents a few months ago was actually probably that we weren’t ready to be parents a few months ago. Now we’re getting a safer car and we have a hand-me-down stroller and car seat and clothing and we picked colors to paint the room and I have a paid internship that will allow us to buy diapers and baby food. Readier than ever, which is still probably to say woefully underprepared, but there’s no right time to have kids, just the particular wrong time you have them. So it seems to me.

I worry about you already. I worry that I’ll imbue you with the latent prejudices I haven’t managed to get rid of, that I’ll limit you in some way, or that I won’t limit you enough in some way. Your mom and I talked about what we want for you and it’s hard to know where the line should be drawn. I want you to be able to do anything and to want to do the right thing. I don’t even know what the right thing is, but I hope you do.

I also go through little talks in my head. The talk about why you should be nice to people, the talk about how to handle dating, how to handle mean friends, disappointment, boredom, about wonder and never losing it, about being happy as a skill rather than a state of mind. I know a lot of it will be ineffective or annoying or frustrating, but how can you be a dad and not try? My dad was very compelling as an indoctrinator, and on one hand, I hope I’m the same way, but on another hand, I fully expect you to know I’m wrong about something I don’t know about.

Lucky for all of us, you’re probably smarter than I am. I just hope you’re smilier too.