Dad... I do love grass. At first, it made me nervous, and I would lift my feet as high as I could to avoid it, standing like a flamingo while Mommy laughed and held my hands. But today, I ran all over the backyard, getting soaked by the sprinklers, stomping on the wet lawn and listening to it squish beneath my toes. I even learned about water balloons!
I miss you, my sweet little boy, who I hear doesn't like grass, but loves going outside, and is not so little anymore.
I wish you had been there, Dad. Every day, something new happens, and you keep missing it. And I keep missing you. Or, at least, I think I do. Your face is fuzzy to me, and I'm not sure how to miss something I never had. But the expectation and wonder on my face is unmistakable, every time I meet someone strong and firm, with a deep voice and kind eyes. They're not like Mommy, and I keep thinking one of them should be mine.
Sometimes, when Mommy is playing with me or feeding me dinner or singing along with the radio, I lose her. Just for a moment, she slips away, submerged in a far-off memory or distracted by a shiny illusion that never quite seems within her grasp. And then she looks at me with a smile and a sigh, saying, "Little C, you would have had so much fun with your Daddy." She tells me I'm a lot like you. And then I find myself wondering which parts of me come from the missing part of me...
I've got a little freckle next to my right eye. Sometimes Mommy rubs it too hard when she forgets and thinks it's just some leftover jelly. Is that just like you?
I always help Mommy blow on my food to cool it off. I pucker my lips and blow through my scrunched up nose. And I practice feeding myself, too. I love, love, love to stir my spoon in my little cup, and give everyone bites when they say please. Is that just like you?
I know what I want, when I want it. When I'm finished with my milk, I push the bottle away and point to my bed. No hugs, no kisses. Just put me down and let me sleep. Is that just like you?
My laugh is infectious. My eyes twinkle most when I'm being mischievous. My best smile is accompanied by wrinkled-up eyes and seven and a half teeth. Is that just like you?
I keep watching for someone who will stay with me, love me. I am missing my dad. I'm afraid he will always be missing. And soon enough, I'll know, that is just like you.