Sunday, September 2, 2007

You and the back seat

Dear Peapod,

I had a funny thought the other day. I was thinking about going on a trip, and whether you would stretch out in the front seat the way I used to do on long trips with my mom. I'd recline the seat, kick my shoes off, dominate the stereo... And then I thought, wait -- Peapod won't be in the front seat, because Reza will! I know it seems silly, but to me, part of growing up and normal childhood included all the things your grandma and I did together, just the two of us. We took trips to Capitola, Bodega Bay, San Francisco... But your grandpa rarely, if ever, was with us. Of course they had divorced by the time I was seven, but even before that he only accompanied us a few times. Anyway, that won't be true for you -- you'll be raised in a two-parent household, and the backseat will be all yours.

There are lots of things that will be different about the world you grow up in -- technology has changed, history has occurred, educational philosophies are different... Someday I am sure you will be amazed that the internet and cell phones didn't exist when I was growing up. You will probably get confused, as I did, and wonder whether we had cars and television (we did). But the things that really interest me are the ways your family will be different.

Today as I drove away from your grandma's house, she waved at me, and it reminded me that my grandma and grandpa used to ALWAYS wave at us as we were leaving, no matter the weather; they would wave until we were out of sight. And the Grandma I remember back then is essentially the Grandma I have now -- she has always been, in my eyes, a little old lady. Your grandma won't be. She's active, and healthy, and young, or as young as an almost-60-year-old can be. She still has relatively few grays. She works out, and gardens. But over time she'll change, I know. I'm happy that she will be watching you during the day. I can only imagine that you will be a better person because of her influence. That's another thing that's different -- my grandma took care of me during the day, but didn't do the kinds of things I imagine you and your grandma will do.

Another big difference? I had a TON of cousins floating around. My dad has three brothers and a sister, and my mom has one brother worth counting. I have seven cousins within 6 years of my age (and three more younger, plus four second cousins and one on the way). We all spent time together, not just at birthday parties and holidays, but all the time. Our parents would play card games, and we would play with toys, blocks, run around the yard, whatever. We were very close. You have five cousins, the closest in age will be six years older than you, and all five live in another state. Your dad and I both want you to be close to them, but it will be a struggle, given the time and cost associated with going to Oregon. And not long after you're born, your oldest cousin will be off to college! This is one of those differences that doesn't come out in your favor, I'm afraid. I hope we can provide you with a sense of family and belonging, but we're going to have to work at it.

I love you already,

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