Today is a big day. Van turns three! Though truth be told, he thinks he’s been three for a few days now, ever since celebrating with his Gran, Pa, Uncle Jack, and Aunt Jenni on Saturday. It’s been quite a year, and I’ve been honored to spend nearly every day and night with him. Watching his excitement, frustrations, and quiet pleasures has taught me so much about what is important and how much I take for granted. I can only hope that I’m teaching him half of what he teaches me.
Van, as we wind down our (for now) trip of a lifetime, I look forward to building new traditions with you and growing a home with our little family. It is hard for me to know what you will remember from this past year (except that we stayed at a Days Inn in Idaho – you have a remarkable memory for that fact), but I hope that you continue to feel comfortable in a world without walls. I hope that you never stop exploring or asking questions and that you continue to nurture your family and friends (both of the living and stuffed animal variety) with the care I’ve seen from you over this past year. I promise that we’ll have plenty of time to eat our meals at picnic tables once the snow melts and that we’ll spend many long days in the sun – moving into a house made of sticks won’t change that. Thank you for bringing me immense love and joy and teaching me more than any learned professor has.