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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

I Hope You Always Throw Your Head Back & Laugh || Letters to Jack


Jack, 

Last night, our air conditioner was broken. This meant a repairman coming in and out, which, for some reason, terrified the crap out of you. Every time the door opened, you burst into tears and ran full-speed into my legs, almost knocking me over. Eventually, I just picked you up and spun you around to distract you, and you responded by throwing your head back and laughing the most genuine, joyful laugh I've ever heard. In a moment similar to deja vu, but not quite, I could see a whole life of laughter for you. 

I imagined you throwing your head back and laughing during a day at the beach, a young kid dizzy with sun and saltwater and sand and body surfing.

I imagined you throwing your head back and laughing the first time you pull out of the neighborhood alone after getting your drivers license, having your first taste of real freedom. 

I could see you tilting your head back and laughing about a movie you just saw with a girl you're falling in love with, because falling in love will do that to you. 

I imagined you closing your eyes and laughing along to the music after asking a stranger to dance, because nights like that will do that to you. 

I could see so much for you...laughing on vacation with your best friends, because making memories will do that to you. Laughing after college graduation, because having no idea what you're doing next will do that to you. Laughing after finding your new favorite restaurant, because good food and wine will do that to you. 

I imagined you holding your own kid one day, bouncing them around, watching them throw their head back and laugh at you. That will make you throw your head back and laugh, too. Trust me, I know. 

In these moments, I realize you're not just a toddler who runs from me when I try to change his diaper. You're not just a one-year-old who loves peek-a-boo and Curious George more than anything else. You're not just a clingy little guy who lets me get absolutely nothing done when you want to play football. You're all of those things right now, of course, but you're also an entire life waiting to happen. You're a whole life happening. 

I hope you always feel joy with such abandonment. I hope you never stifle it, but that you always throw your head back and laugh. 

I'm going to work on doing more of that, too. 

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