Week 27 - Fear and Paranoia

Dear Kaylee,

While you continued to grow inside your mother’s swelling belly, we here in the outside world saw our first serious snowstorm of the season. Extra care was taken to keep your mom and you safe. She didn’t go out when she didn’t have to, and when she had to go out we made sure that our front steps were freshly salted with the big bucket of salt and sand that your grandfather sent us home with this past weekend. To say that paranoia is a trait passed down from father to son in our family would be a great understatement. If I told you how many times I called your mother this week just to make sure that you both were safe — well, if I told you, you’d probably have me committed. And I think I’m a little young yet to be sent off to the loony bin.

You were in the midst of another growth spurt this week, shooting up to 14 inches in length, just a bit bigger than a standard wooden ruler. You weighed roughly two and a half pounds, which is only a fraction of the extra weight that your father has put on since he found out your mother was pregnant. “Sympathy weight” is what they tell me this is, so I guess I’ll let it slide.

We went to see The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe on Saturday afternoon and I took note of how many children were in the audience, possibly losing themselves in this tale for the first time, this story that I so loved as a child. During one climactic and potentially horrifying scene, several parents had to take their children out of the theatre. I respected their decision to leave, but I also found myself wondering if we, as adults, try to protect you, as children, too much. The scene wasn’t that bad, or else it wouldn’t have been in a children’s movie to begin with, and there was a message there to be discussed with a child, if only you were willing to accept your child as a living, breathing, thinking individual, with whom you could have actual conversations. Perhaps a crowded movie house wouldn’t be the ideal place to have such a discussion, but you could always have the discussion later, and by removing your child from the theatre before they have the chance to witness the scenes that follow, before they have a chance to witness the consequences and rewards of a sacrifice made out of love, you rob your child of a potentially life-changing moment.

That’s just my two cents. I don’t presume to tell you that those parents who left were “bad parents” in any way; I just wish they had stuck it out just a bit longer, had faith in their children and their children’s courage in the face of fear and stayed to witness the power of a truly wonderful story.

I hope to always have faith in you and to always realize that you are capable of far more than I could ever imagine.

Love, Dad

LettersE. Christopher Clark