Kaylee: Year 02, Weeks 23-25

Dear Kaylee,

You've come down with a cold over the past couple of days, and it's got you so congested at times that it's scary. It doesn't seem to be affecting your mood all that much, but it's driving me a little batty. I don't like that your breathing is so heavy, that your chest sometimes heaves as your fighting the worst of the congestion. But you don't seem all that concerned. Last night, you didn't want to sit still after your mother left for an evening meeting across town. We went outside in the gathering dark, and I fretted over your condition with the on-call doctor, who told me that it would probably pass, and that we should only bring you in to see someone if it persisted. But while I did that you were busy yelling after a dog that had just been walked by. "Doddie," was no longer the call you gave as you pointed. Instead, you growled a raspy "Duh-duh," a smile on your face. And then you pursed your lips and let loose the chant of "Ro, ro, ro," which in Kaylee-speak apparently means "ruff, ruff, ruff".

It was then that I knew I was overreacting. It was then that I started to breathe easier myself.

We did a lot with our last weeks of summer, Kaylee. And whether you were dressed up like Goldilocks for a trip to Storyland—the outfit was a happy accident, it turns out—or playing on the playground at daycare, or roaming about your Grannie Apple's yard with a Patriots jacket on... whatever it was you were doing these past couple of weeks, you were looking cute doing it. Between your mother and me, and everyone else whose taken a photo of you, we've snapped so many memorable pictures over the last month that I find it hard to pick a favorite. Being cute isn't something you've ever had trouble with, but it seems like you're taking it to new heights lately.

As I've continued to stress out about the first class I'll be teaching as part of my new job as an adjunct English instructor, you've continued to provide a calming influence. Trying to get settled into a new schedule this past week has been amazingly difficult, but you've always been good for a hug or a laugh when I needed one. And I can only hope that I'm as useful to you when you're having a rough time of it as you've been to me.

Football season starts tonight, and I'm counting on you to be a calming influence in that part of my life, as well. I can't flip out as much when you're around. Or, I could, I suppose. But I choose not to because of you. And it's better when I don't flip out, really. It's better when I look at you in a Patriots jacket and realize that's something that's not really possible if you're yelling at the screen the whole time. And you remind me of that, Kaylee. You do.

Love, Dad