Thursday, August 25, 2016

A letter to my son on his first day of preschool

Dear Oliver,

This morning you're at preschool for the first time, and I'm sitting at a coffee shop by myself, thinking about how we got to where we are. Let me tell you the story.

Three years ago today, I was in Germany with your daddy for his work. You were in my belly. I didn't know that a few days later, while we were still in Germany, you would be born, 12 weeks early.

You were so small.

In your first weeks, you lived in a glass box, with lots of silly tubes up your nose, in your mouth, and on your foot. For a while, you had this funny mask over your nose and mouth. You blew bubbles in it one day, which made you look like a little scuba diver. That made Mommy and Daddy smile.

But we were also scared. You were so small, and you were sick.

You needed extra blood.

The doctors gave you some.

Your brain got hurt.

The doctors did surgery to help you.

You had trouble breathing. Your bones were weak. A blood vessel near your heart had a hole in it.

The doctors helped you.

Mommy and Daddy helped you, too.

We sang to you. We held you. We gave you Mommy's milk.

Slowly, you got better. You grew, and you grew, and you grew. You got so big that on your first birthday, you were 10 times (!) your birth weight.

You were getting stronger, too.

When you were 13 months, you started learning how to sit on the floor.

When you were 19 months, you started learning how to stand.

When you were 25 months, you started learning how to walk.

And when you were 29 months, you spoke your first, glorious word: "Go!"

To this day, that's your favorite wordthe word you say when you want to practice walking while holding onto Mommy or Daddy's hand; the word you say when we're stopped at a crosswalk but you want to keep walking; and the word you say whenever we ask you what you want to do.

And so today, on your first day of preschoola day I am so thankful that our family gets to experienceI want to say to you:


Go experience the world!

Go learn new things!

Go forward, go backward, go upside-down!


(But always come back. :) )


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