You are twenty nine months. Your imagination continues to explode with ideas and stories. And when you convey these stories to us they are always told with words jumbled in a rush of excitement and whole-body actions to match. You make us laugh. Like when you pretend to catch fish, huffing and straining as you reel in the ‘big one’, then, true cave-man style grab the thing in both hands and take big hunking bite! Or when you gulp your milk down and proudly announce ‘milk disappear’, a huge grin on your proud miniature magician face. And when you’re not fishin’ or disappearin’, you are chasing daddy in an effort to ‘eat daddy’s brains’ (a strange game the two of you concocted that never fails to amuse). So, at twenty nine months, your future career path looks like it could go a number of ways: fisherman, magician or zombie.
Except that I think now, Zombies might actually scare you. You see, you are finally developing some fears. And as much as I love fearless, go-anywhere, do-anything Lachie, my anxious-mother side is thankful. A healthy dose of fear is natures convenient way of ensuring the survival of the human race. And keeping mothers from heart-failure as their toddler continually tries to outdo themselves in a race to the emergency department.
A little while ago we had incredibly strong winds. Trees bent and clothes flapped wildly on the clothesline.You started to cry, and then scream, hysterically. Mostly afraid that the wind was going to blow away your toys. But also just generally distraught. Sometimes as an adult it is easy to dismiss other people’s fears as silly and for a few minutes I tried mildly to placate you, tell you it was just wind, to not worry about it. But when you didn’t settle I realised that your fear, of this wind, was absolutely real. And so I tried harder to feel what you were feeling: to understand how wind could be so terrifying. I sat down next to you and explained that wind is just air that moves, that it won’t hurt you and that if we pack away toys inside then they too will be safe. Finally, you calmed. And we carried on with our day.
As more fears develop, as they will, I will try my best to keep empathising with you. To be the reassurance you need. I have a feeling, however, that there will be many in the months and years to come that won’t be quite so easy to overcome.
So there is one last thing I wanted to tell you about your twenty-nine-month-old self. You are a tech-wizz-kid. I suspect all toddlers in 2012 probably are, nevertheless, your tech-savvy continues to blow us pre-internet people away. You probably won’t believe us when we tell you that once upon a time, all mobile phones could do was call other phones. That’s right, no text, no games, no cameras, no photos, no calculators, no apps. All of which you can use, by the way. The other day when you went to play with daddy’s phone he told you his phone had no games, to which you promptly replied “I need more apps, I go get my phone”. And by your phone you meant mummy’s phone which you like to swipe when I’m not looking. Or even at three am like the other morning when I woke to find you sitting silently by our bed, face lit by the flickering screen of a toddler shapes game. So there is no surprise then that we will be keeping all this tech-love firmly balanced with a good dose of life beyond the screen. I think your generation, more than any other, will need to know how to keep a happy harmony between the digital world and real life.
I digress (us Gen Y’s aren’t known for our attention spans either, something about the distraction of the internet…).
I love you always and forever my baby boy.
My other Letters to Lachlan.