If You Would Just Come To Me

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Dear Lewis,

Lately, you’ve been in the habit of having a great day right up until about an hour before I get home. Your mother loves you and I know she takes care of you. What I don’t know is why you become The Monster every evening around 4:30pm.

In the past we’ve been quick to comfort you when you cry. We pick you up, play with you, even give you snacks in an attempt to calm you. But, you’re 10 months old now. Maybe we should have started sooner but we decided a few days ago not to pick you up or drop whatever we’re doing every time you cry.

We’re not ignoring you. We haven’t abandoned you. We just want you to learn to come to us for the things you need.

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You’re Sick, Lewis. So Am I.

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Dear Lewis,

The past few days have been crazy. It has nothing to do with Christmas. It has everything to do with you getting sick for the first time.

It was Christmas Eve. You and I were hanging out like we do every morning. Except this morning, even though you hadn’t eaten for 11 hours, you weren’t interested in your bottle. I kept at it, and half an hour later, and less than half your bottle later, you puked on your self, on me, the couch, even the floor.

You didn’t cry, but I panicked.

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Forgive Your Father: A Letter From Matt Ham

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Lewis,

I’m writing this letter asking you to forgive your father. I understand this may seem brash, but I believe it needs to be said. Because there may not be one thing in particular, I’m writing about the generalization that most sons, in some way, hold some level of contempt toward their father. Now I’ve never met your dad, but from what I can tell, he is a fantastic man. So this isn’t a particular knock against him; rather a mindset I’m encouraging you to embrace.

You see, Lewis, often this contempt is mild, and contempt may even be a strong word. It could be the simple fact that your father was a great athlete and those genes seemed to have skipped your generation. Alternatively, it could be that your father is an extremely hard worker, laboring with his hands, whereas you’re a teacher, a thinker.

In these cases, remember, you are your father’s son; you’re not your father.

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Too Much All At Once

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Dear Lewis,

Last night Uncle Matt came over to work on music while your mom was at yoga. You were fussy, and demanded my attention the whole night. When it was time to eat you fought me, taking an hour to eat 4oz of food. Uncle Matt and I managed to be productive, in spite of your neediness.

I’d already had a taxing day, so by the time your mom got home, showered and ate dinner I was spent, overwhelmed, and ready for a new day.

Thankfully, you slept 9 hours straight. You missed a few feedings since you slept so long, so this morning you downed your normal 4oz. When the bottle was empty you started crying so I gave you another 2oz. You sucked that down, screamed again, so I gave you 2oz more.

After finishing 8oz total you were good. Or so I thought.

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We’re Good, Because I Love You

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Dear Lewis,

Tonight you pooped like you were trying to qualify for an Olympic event. It broke through your diaper, seeped through your clothes, stained the changing pad, and covered my hand. It took 11 wipes to get you clean. That’s a record for you. Congratulations.

The restaurant where we went to pick up burritos was packed. Your mom and I, and judging by their faces, the people in line around us, smelled something awful. I immediately recognized your scent, and dashed out to the car to change you.

You massacred that diaper. I’ve never seen anything so disgusting in all my life. I don’t know how I kept from puking.

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I’m Working On It

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Dear Lewis,

I love you, very much. But your life would be so much easier if you would just trust me. I know you need to eat every few hours. I know when you need a nap. I know you need to be changed when the blue line appears on the front of your diaper, or when smells, awful smells, emanate from the back.

I don’t get mad at you for crying over these things. I tell you I love you. I tell you I know how long it’s been since your last bottle or diaper change. I tell you that if you’ll just be patient and stop crying you’ll see I’m working on it.

But you don’t. When I walk out of the living room and into the kitchen – to make your bottle – you cry harder. When I put you in your crib – to keep you safe while I wash my hands, get a diaper and find you some new clothes – you scream louder.

Those moments when it looks like I’m abandoning you, that’s when I’m closest to giving you what you need.

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What Have You Done?

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Dear Lewis,

From the moment I got home tonight you’ve been asleep. I made dinner, went to the store for your mom, and then read a few chapters of Princess Academy. Meanwhile, you haven’t done a thing.

You haven’t made a cute face to make me smile. You haven’t gripped my finger and warmed my heart. You haven’t done anything for me today. You’ve never done anything for me. You’ve only ever taken: taken my sleep, my time, my energy, my money, my patience, and even my wife.

But still, I love you.

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