My sweet, adventurous Tobin,
We made it! After some long days of driving, a great time in Nashville, and more long driving days to get home, our vacation has come and gone. You’ve been asking to go back and making plans for the next time we visit.
Photo by Gary Clarke
You and Miles spent as much time as possible in hotel pools, hitting the water on both transition nights near St. Louis and every day in Brentwood. You were your typical brave self, helping Miles push his boundaries and doing some really good run-and-jumps off the edge of the pool. Of course you also had a lot of fun doing other things, like our trips to the zoo, the science museum, and spending time with family. You always have a blast with Mubby and Skitter, and this time you got to add cousin Aleks to the mix. You got a kick out of helping him walk, though he doesn’t want a lot of help these days.
We’ve recently discovered a splash pad here in Iowa City, which isn’t quite as fancy as the one in Nashville, but we’re hoping to spend some time there on an upcoming hot day.
You came down with a mysterious (and fortunately short-lived) fever the other day. We were meeting some friends at the library, and you were fine as we got organized and loaded up the car. Then, as we stepped up to the children’s room desk to get your prize for completing the summer reading program, you started looking woozy. The librarian even noted that you weren’t looking so good. I grabbed a lined wastebasket and kept it near you. You fell asleep in my arms and stayed there for a while, and you remained off your game for the rest of the night. No puke ever emerged, so that’s good, and a dose of ibuprofen did the trick of helping you cool off. You’ve seemed fine ever since.
Photo by Gary Clarke
You were proud and excited when I told you this is your last month of being three. That’s hard to believe, but in other ways you seem very big. We’ve gotten a start on planning your birthday party, which will also be a half-birthday party for Miles, who got out-scheduled by Callum’s birth. It will be your first time inviting school friends to a party, so that’s pretty exciting for you. You made some good friends at Willowwind last year, and I hope we can stay in touch with them as you move on to Hoover next month. It’s funny to think that we’ll be seeing some of those same kids at junior high band concerts and other activities in ten or so years.
Photo by Denny
You’re just as funny and precocious as ever. You are expressive and silly and very, very adept with words. Last night I told Miles to be careful, because he’s been accidentally shutting your dad and me in the car door lately. As I strapped you into your car seat, you said, gravely, “I love you. I would never hurt you.” I laughed, leaned down and kissed you, and you said, “I’m keeping that forehead kiss.”
One of your favorite things right now is to play Alphabet Go Fish, a game your old friend Beanie gave you. It’s really helped you learn your letters—I think you know all of them now, and your dad has gotten you started sounding out some words. You’re full of joy and enthusiasm for the things that go right. Today, the electricity went out for about an hour and a half. It stressed you and Miles out, because lunch without access to the fridge, microwave, or toaster is a dire meal indeed. When the power came back, you squealed with happiness and shouted, “We did it!” I don’t know if you guys were sending electricity-request vibes to the universe or what, but you were quite sure that your efforts solved the problem somehow.
You run hot on other emotions, too. Sometimes you just stand and scream with rage. Not usually, though. Usually you’re a pretty jolly guy. Your poor little body is all scratched up right now, because mosquitoes find you delicious, even through bug spray. You can’t resist scratching, and it shows all over your arms, legs, back, and neck. This is not keeping you inside, though. We happened to spend all day inside today, and I can tell it’s not your natural habitat. You love to be out running, jumping, splashing, and creating havoc.
Even though I do my best to cherish you and your brothers at every age, I admit I’m looking forward to you being four. Four is easier than three, I think. You’ll be at a new school, making new friends and adapting to a new environment. I’m excited to see how you grow and develop over the next year, especially as you mature and stop screaming so much.
You actually don’t scream all that much. It’s just that when you do, it’s really loud. Everything about you is full-volume, little Tobin. You’re a lot of kid, from your stinky feet your crazy, fluffy hair. I love you and I’m so glad you spent your third year with me.