I am sorry that I put the dog outside so often. I promised you a dog and got one for you, but I was the failure there. Your excitement was worth every minute of cleaning up the hair, but even I have limits. Bodily functions happen to be among those limits. I am not sorry, however, that I adopted that dog. Lizzie is a reminder every day of how much you can love. Never a day goes by that I don’t see you love on her and talk to her the same way you did the day we brought her home in that tiny yellow blanket.
I am sorry we always seem to be out of ice cream. You really like it, and in fact, I think you might adore it. I should just buy stock in Turner Dairy. It’s pretty important to me too. That might be part of the reason for our shortage, but I digress. I am not sorry that I feed your ice cream habit and am the first one to suggest a stop at Dairy Queen. If I can’t be the one who is making the dessert that makes you happy, I can at least be the one who hands it to you.
I am sorry I complain about you watching Everybody Loves Raymond—in marathon sessions and in a loop—for weeks on end. I have every word memorized, and the laugh tracks are even beginning to sound the same from scene to scene. We have watched it so much that you aren’t paying attention to the words anymore; you are now watching for the inconsistencies, and I wonder if you might be planning to make your own Youtube video of the discrepancies. I am not sorry that I introduced you to it, though. It makes you laugh. When you watch it, you get that deep, from-the-gut laugh that means you really get the joke. I love watching you appreciate humor. You may not laugh at me the way you did from your car seat when I would sing The Wiggles’s songs, but you laugh with me now. I think I just might like that better.
Now, you come in from high school every afternoon. You don’t look like you have been there, but I know you have. You look like you have been in the backseat of the car dropping your Clifford book onto the floorboard or trying to fit your sticky sippy cup into the cup holder without my help. You look like my little boy, but you are a high school student. Your face looks like the face on all those undeveloped pictures on each of my defunct cell phones, but your eyes look like the eyes of a young man thinking about jobs and cars. These next four years will change you, and for that I am sorry too. I won’t be sorry for the empty scrapbooks and ice cream cartons though. Nope. Not for a minute. You’re happy, and my baby boy is my happy.
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