An Open Letter to Zane

At this moment you are sleeping in my bed. You have the company of two dogs, two cats, and dreams that only know innocence. You fell asleep crying and there is a smile upon your lips.

You will wake up in your own bed—perhaps with a pet. It will be the crack of dawn or the hour before it. You will wake with an energy that I envy and you will do the things I wish you wouldn’t. Like getting up.

You will try to be quiet with whispers at a roar and you will wake your brother with the same “accident” you did yesterday morning. And the day before that. The day is new and you dare not face it without him.

It is easy for you to pick up where your brother left off. It is also unfair. You spent a year walking him to school and a year counting down the hours until he returned. You spent a year planting kisses upon his cheek and a year making him cry. Also, vice versa. A year is a long time when you have only known three.

You look up to your brother and rightfully so. His footsteps are deep upon us all, but as inviting as you may find them they are not for you to follow. Your path is yours to make. I trust you will go the right direction. I trust there will be many turns along the way. I trust.

And tomorrow you start your walk. It starts with a few hours here, a few hours there. It starts with a circle and a song. It snakes and it winds past pretty flowers sharp with thorns and pockets of warm sunshine through darkened trees. This is the metaphor where adventures are made and yours is in the taking of them. It is a baby step of epic proportion. There is no turning back now.

Perhaps we take preschool too lightly. Perhaps we take it for granted. But the truth is that it is new to you and it is new to us. There are uncharted waters before your feet and tomorrow you get wet.

Dry is dull and overrated.

Enjoy your day and the start of it all. Your mother and I will be waiting in the silence that you left us—it is solace with a bitter streak.

Remember, when in doubt, flash your dimples.

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