Friday, December 10, 2010

Dear Donovan,

Today I dropped you off at school after you peppered my face with kisses and we each proclaimed we loved the other more. I watched you run up to your line, casting backwards glances at me. "He's so cute," Gemma now says with me, in the same way you used to say it with me about Ainsleigh.

I often wonder how I got so lucky. Initially, I was terrified of raising a boy. I mean, a BOY?! I think this hearkens back to the moment I heard my mom had given birth to my newest sibling: a boy. I have a vivid recollection of standing in our front yard, looking at the olive tree, and knowing my life was over. See, my cousins lived down the street and while they were a ton of fun, I saw that brothers torment sisters. Mercilessly. And I just knew that this newborn would somehow come home from the hospital an obnoxious, mean, stinky 10 year old. I was 5 at the time, so this was perfectly logical. (As it so happens, it took years for my brother to get to the torment/obnoxious age, and by then I was also older and better equipped for retaliation.)

I think some of those juvenile fears resurfaced as I worried about our future relationship. Would I like you? Could I nurture you? More importantly, would you love me? I think that's why Heavenly Father sent me you. Stinky, yes. Obnoxious at times, definitely. More loving and sweet and wonderful than I ever could have imagined? Holy cow yes.

You pour all your energy into running and laughing and hugging. You have the greatest giggle. On more than one occasion, Daddy and I have stopped what we're doing as we hear you cackle from the other room, usually from some game or activity you're engaged in with your sisters, and just soak in the sound. "I wish I could bottle that," I'll say. "I hope he never loses that," Daddy will say.

This year you started kindergarten. Oh how excited you were up until the day we walked to orientation. Only then did you stick right by my side and nervously ask if I'd stay. Buddy, I'm telling you here and now: If you let me, I will ALWAYS stay. Always. Sometimes I'm going to stay even when you wish I wouldn't. Since then, you've absolutely flourished. You might test limits at home, but at school you are a model student, according to your teachers. You know a lot of answers, but don't always volunteer it. I like that about you.

And I love how you love your sisters. "But Daddy, how will I fer-tect both of my sisters at the same time?" you've asked. First of all, I will be sad when you don't mispronounce words any more. I love that you have taken the role of protector upon yourself. This might be partly rooted in your love of knights. It's not to say you always value their well-being. But it's there in the back of your mind.

You are always quick to say, "Awwwwww! You're so cute!" in a high-pitched voice to Gemma when she has on a new outfit or hairstyle. You play with her and teach her and she is incredibly distraught when she can't find you. "Where Dah-vin?" she'll ask me, even when she knows the answer.

You are fun to watch, whether you're running down the soccer field, skiing down a mountain, or being Indiana Jones. I love your smile and you soft cheeks that beg to be kissed. And I love Love LOVE how you always come back for one more hug.

It's hard to let you grow up, try new things, leave my side. But that backward glance and secret smile you save for me tell me you'll always come back. You better. Or I'll follow you to wherever you are and bring you back. That's both a promise and a threat.



laura said...

That second picture of Dono is like my favorite thing of all time.

Anonymous said...

My fave may be the one where he's stuck inside the toilet seat. I hate it when that happens to me.