August 3, 2010
My dearest Sonia (aka Soso; aka Soso def; aka Sonia Ponia; aka Sony Pony),
You’re THREE! Or as you like to say, “I’m free!”...As much as I’d like to believe that your mispronunciation of your age is simply a reflection of the fact that you have yet to learn how to properly pronounce the illustrious “th” combo (trust me, you’re not the first), a part of me worries that you may actually believe that you’re free (with an “f”) and that you’re really not mispronouncing your age, but instead telling us that you want to be released and let into the wild to roam and discover on your own. If this is true (and knowing you, it probably is), I regret to inform you that you are far from being free and instead under Mom and Dad’s authority until you reach the age of twenty-free, i.e., a very long time from now. So, get used to it.
If you haven’t realized it yet, this is your Dad writing (long sentences filled with awkward humor that only Dad can understand didn’t give it away!?). Yes, my first official contribution to kimonobaby took me free years (ok, I’ll stop that joke now). It took me three years, but don’t blame me. Please redirect your anger towards your mother, who has hogged the spotlight on this popular blog for too long. She kindly and respectfully handed me the mic this time around so that I would have an opportunity to share some of my thoughts and memories over the past three years of your life, while providing some advice (which Mom says I give way too much!), as you continue to grow and mature.
It goes without saying, but wow! I really can’t believe you’re three years old. Your words and sentences are as sophisticated as they've ever been. The questions you ask are so full of thought that I worry you’ll be smarter than me one day. The other day you were coloring and I politely told you that you were holding the marker incorrectly, as I tried to show you how to hold it properly. Your immediate response without even blinking an eye, “Dad, stop it. I’m just a kid. Leave me alone!” And left alone you were, as I walked away fearing that I will be hearing those exact words over and over again for quite some time.
Equally amazing is the fact that you’re physically growing into such a beautiful little girl (by the way, you’re welcome for those genes!). You are full of this unique sense of life and personality that most kids your age have yet to discover. Of course, your temper tantrums have not yet wavered and I’m starting to realize that they may be around forever. I’ll admit now that my genes are also responsible for much of your feistiness, so trust me when I say that you’ll eventually learn how to control these emotions and once you do, you’ll be a better person for it.
But underneath your physical beauty and intelligence (things that everybody, who knows you, is well familiar with) is something so much more special that not only makes me proud of the life that your mother and I have created, but also inspires me to become the best father that I can ever be.
When you sit on my lap and we stare out the window together, talking about anything and everything under the sun, you obviously don’t realize it, but those are the most special moments in my life. The connection that we have during that short period (although it feels quite long at the time) is so pure and innocent that all the stress in my life is immediately forgotten. While your early days as a baby were incredible, to say the least, I have so eagerly enjoyed spending time with you over the last year, teaching you about things, answering your questions, listening to music together, telling you about my life when I was a kid, wrestling on the bed together, singing random songs that only Mom remembers, or walking to the farmers market holding each other’s hand. It’s these moments that I am thankful for and which I could not have experienced if not for you. For this reason, I feel like I owe you so much, which is why I promise that your mother and I will provide you with the best possible life that you could ever imagine.
Sonia, as you enter your third year of life and embark upon the rest of your life as a little girl, then teen, then young woman, I have a few things that I want you to always remember besides the traditional mantras of "always listen to your parents," "eat your vegetables," and "study hard.” These are things, to which I committed my life, and I hope that you find a way to commit these to your life as well:
- Listen and enjoy music for all the right reasons. Let it make you happy, but most importantly let it inspire you.
- Be adventurous. Travel, live, and study in different parts of this country and the world. These experiences will be great content for your college application essay.
- Go to a private school and wear a uniform because dying your hair purple and wearing jeans with holes in them are for those that may never write a college essay.
- Play soccer and become obsessed with it. In fact, become the best. If you have to cherry-pick or hog the ball to score goals, then do that. I’ll still be proud of you even if you’re teammates complain.
- Don’t date boys. EVER.
- Become a doctor or lawyer. Or both.
- Don’t drive till you’re twenty-free.
- Never drink alcohol. “It’s yucky.”
Happy birthday, Sonia. Welcome to the third year of your life. I’m honored to be a part of it. I love you.
Dad (aka S. Ramirez; aka Sanjee Wanjee; aka Sam Wellington)