A Letter to Liam

Dear Liam,

I woke up this morning with less patience than I usually possess, and consequently our day together was not as pleasant as usual. I want to apologize.

On our walk this morning, I’m sorry for not being as interested as you were in watching the landscapers nor in listening to the grinding and demolition of someone’s cement patio. I’m sorry for hustling you along, for not allowing you to sit on the sidewalk across the street and watch and listen. I know I once had the patience for doing just these things when the neighbors up the block were getting materials for their retaining wall unloaded off a semi with a forklift, but today was not that day.

At second breakfast, I’m sorry that I lost my patience when you threw your last piece of avocado on the floor for Sam to eat even after I asked you not to and physically prevented an earlier attempt with my hand on yours. I apologize for not giving you any more avocado even though you asked for it nicely with both signs and words.

When you wanted my wallet at the grocery story, in order to remove and return my various cards from and to their little slots, and I didn’t want to give it to you for fear that we might lose something of value, I’m sorry I confused the message and rewarded your crying by giving in. I just didn’t have the patience to deal with the consequences of refusing you, nor the wherewithal to come up with a distraction. And of course, we would have lost our three Desert Museum guest passes, had that nice lady who returned a cart after us not pointed them out there on the ground, so I was right in my initial denial of your request, and I’m sorry I didn’t stick to it.

I’m sorry, also, for not having the patience to let you feed yourself your cottage cheese during lunch. After those first few bites and the curd count on your bib, your high chair tray, and the floor, all I could do was take the spoon in my own hand. I know you were tired; I know you were doing the best that you can, and I’m sorry for taking that opportunity to practice away from you. You’re really quite adept at using both a fork and a spoon, but you’re not even a year and a half, you need the practice.

This afternoon, during water play, after you had, as expected, dumped out every container I filled for the umpteenth time, sat in and splashed in what must have been gallons of water, and tasted the sodden soil of our small backyard half a dozen times over the course of an hour, I just couldn’t endure another mosquito bite, another minute of the heat, another round of you getting muddy and me washing you off, so I’m sorry for rushing you inside to the bathtub right as the sprinklers went on. I know you like the sprinklers, and I know we usually make it a point to play in them if they’re on. All I can say is I’m sorry.

And tonight at bedtime, when you were dutifully attempting to brush your teeth, I’m sorry I made you cry by yanking your toothbrush away and unceremoniously depositing it into the garbage after you bit out a number of bristles. A more patient me would have handled the situation more delicately. At least I hope. I hope that tomorrow that more patient me will return.

I love you, Liam.




3 thoughts on “A Letter to Liam

  1. Thank you, Clare. I hope that he will appreciate it someday. It is hard to imagine those days in his life, but I’m sure they’ll be here before I am ready for them.


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