Year 01 | Week 25

Dear Kaylee,

I was in the middle of a rough couple of days when your mom dressed you on Friday morning. Knowing that I’d been unable to sleep, thanks to the nightmares that have been plaguing me periodically since your grandfather passed away, and knowing that I was entering the most stressful part of the year at my job (the months leading up to our annual conference), your mom decided to dress you in something that she hoped would serve as a pick-me-up. Well, as much as I loved the Kid Vicious t-shirt we dressed you in last week, I loved the “My Dad Rocks” t-shirt your mother dressed you in on Friday morning that much more. It was definitely a pick-me-up, and then some.

We set off that day for a walk in a nearby park and I’d like to think we had ourselves a grand old time. I forgot the blanket I’d meant to bring, which meant that we couldn’t really sit out on the grass after the walk, but I think the trip went swimmingly otherwise. There’s a nice wooded trail I was able to push you through in your stroller, and I kept a steady pace so that I could get myself some exercise in the process. You slept through most of the walk, but you stirred near the end and that, of course, meant it was time for pictures.

After our pleasant Friday, it was back to the grindstone for me on Saturday morning. I had lots of work to do (I work from home three days a week, if I haven’t mentioned it before) but what I really wanted to be doing was to be playing with you, hanging out with you and your mom. Your mother told me you were rolling all over the place, from back to belly, from side to side, and you sounded like you were having a blast. I, meanwhile, was screaming at my computer. It wouldn’t cooperate with me that morning, and that made the sitting there and getting my work done all the more difficult.

Eventually we did have some time together on Saturday. Then, on Sunday, we drove down to see your Grammie Sue, Grampie Earl, and your Great Grandma Clark. And on Monday, Labor Day, we drove up to Maine to see your Grannie Apple, your Auntie ‘Nisa, and your Uncle Bill. You had a great time both days, squirming around on the floor in Chelmsford on Sunday and showing off your rolling over skills, and roaming the yard with your Auntie and your Grannie in Maine on Monday and checking out the chickens.

I took a lot of pictures, many of them bad, and we had ourselves a nice long weekend. We were all exhausted by the time we got home on Monday night and that tiredness carried over into Tuesday, which made that first day back to work all the more difficult for both your mother and me. But somehow we made it through. And now another week is gone and you’re one week closer to that magical milestone of six months.

The stereotype of the Asian tourist snapping endless photographs wherever he goes has been prevalent in the American film industry for years. I have never felt more like that stereotypical Asian tourist than I have since you were born. The camera goes with me everywhere, and I never hesitate to snap a picture when the moment strikes me, at least as long as the subject is you. I hope you’ll never shy away from the camera, that you’ll never get to the point where you playfully (or not so playfully) yell at me to stop it. Because it makes me so happy to capture your smiles, your silly faces, and your more introspective ones. And I’d like to think that someday, when I’m gone, when you’re having trouble sleeping because of the cold hard fact of that loss, that you’ll look back at all these pictures of you and be able to see yourself the way I always saw you. I hope that you’ll be able to see the love that colored every shot and that somehow you’ll be able to take comfort in that.

Love, Dad

LettersE. Christopher Clark