Year 01 | Week 29

Dear Kaylee,

On Friday afternoon, you and I headed down to Nashua to catch up with one of my best friends, a friend you’d never met before. The truth is that you’ve met only a handful of your parents’ friends, and that’s been kind of disappointing. There are so many folks I’d like you to meet, but for whatever reason it just hasn’t happened yet. I think that there’s an assumption among childless friends that their friends who are parents will be the ones to make the call when baby is ready to visit. And on the surface that’s a safe assumption, especially when the baby is very young. But the reality is that parents—or your parents, at the very least—rarely have time to plan anything. They’d (we’d) love to get together and do things, but we need someone else to plan those things. Otherwise, we end up staying at home, doing things by ourselves, or visiting the relatives (which is still fun for us, and the relatives, but ends up leaving friends without their Kaylee-time) — in other words, the safe, no brain required to plan them kind of activities.

Anyway, this visit with my friend Jon turned out to be an opportunity to test out using your stroller as a stroller instead of as a rolling car-seat carrier. I can’t think of any better way to describe the two modes of the stroller than that. Up until now, we’ve used the stroller in the “rolling car-seat carrier” mode only. You weren’t big enough to sit in it by yourself, without the support of the car-seat. But lately you’ve been getting antsy in the car-seat. It’s getting to be too small, for one thing. But you also spend so much time sitting up nowadays that you loathe the idea of having to lay down in the car seat while we’re walking around places.

So, I sat you in the car seat by yourself for the first time and all went well. Except for the fact that your father had no idea how to adjust the straps correctly (me and straps don’t get along), the whole thing looked and operated just as it should. And the straps weren’t even that badly adjusted (or else I wouldn’t have risked keeping you in the stroller that way); they were just the tiniest bit loose.

You and Jon and I roamed the mall. Jon needed to buy a few last minute things before heading off to England and you and I tagged along. It was the only way for him and I to hang out before he left, so we did it and that was that. You got a kick out of being able to sit up in your stroller, of being able to reach out your arms and grab things (which I promptly had to tug away from you), and of course you got a kick out of meeting someone new. You were certainly talkative during our stroll, drawing smiles from some mallgoers and frowns from others. And you drank your bottle right down when we sat in the food court for a quick bite, not getting quite as easily distracted as you usually do in public places.

The weekend found us up in Maine, visiting with your mom’s family. We got to check out your Auntie Nisa’s new apartment, with it’s amazing view of lake and mountains, and we got to try out your table-side high-chair attachment thingy (see how good your father is with baby technology jargon…) during a trip out for lunch. The rides weren’t as much fun, but we did get to listen to the Patriots beat on the Bengals on the way home, so that was good.

The annual conference held by the non-profit that I work for was fast approaching, and I was trying to enjoy every moment I had with you (the conference would be in San Francisco and I’d be gone for near a week). Sometimes I lost my patience, because the days were just too long and there wasn’t nearly enough energy in my body to get through them, but your mother picked up the slack and made life easier.

My twenty-ninth birthday is only a couple of days away. The conference is just beyond that. And your mother’s thirtieth birthday is just beyond that. We’ve got an apple-picking trip coming up, a couple of visits with friends planned (finally), and a couple more I’d like to plan. October is going to be a busy month for us, but your smiles and your love will get us through.

Love, Dad