Van Worst Park is such a simple pleasure. When we moved to Jersey City, we couldn’t quite justify living on the water, so we paid attention to a Realtor who told us that if we can’t get the water in JC, we should be happy with a park. It’s a solid park. But it turned into something special earlier this afternoon.
The weather was nice. We were headed into winter and the fact that it was nice outside (meaning we could go outside without fearing you’d hate us for a few hours after the fact) meant that we had to go outside. You’re an outdoor baby. It calms you. I feel like your happiness is directly correlated to the number of leaves you see around you — maybe with a bit of sunshine factored in.
It’s always been that way, though. From the moment we could take you outside, if we did, you were happier. Taking it all in. Looking around you. Observing. Reaching. The first thing I ever saw you reach for was a leaf. And you went for it. Like you do everything. You saw. You committed. And you went for it.
The park on this beautiful late Fall day was no different. We strolled. You did some slide work. Pulled yourself up to a lovely outdoor abacus. And life was grand. But nothing compared to you on that swing. It was freedom. You were seated. And you were experiencing. No fear. No matter how excited I got and how hard I pushed. You smiled on your way to us and on your way back. Sheer happiness.
I’d like to get a swing installed in every room in our condo. What do you think? My guess if you could respond? Weeeeeeeeeeeeee! Which totally explains my love for you today, munchkin. It was as exhilarating to watch you on that swing as it has been for me to take loops at Great Adventure.
I enjoy our weekends. On most weekend days I get to wake up with you in the morning, give your Mom the opportunity to sleep in a little, and get some dedicated time alone with you. Any time alone with you is a win for me.
We do a little bit of talking. We do a little bit of exercising. We do a little bit of playing. We do a little bit of going outside. (Note: You love dogs. When I walk you around either in Jersey City or Edison, we’re bound to see dogs walking their owners early in the morning, and you reach for them, play with them, completely unfazed, and completely engrossed.) We do a little bit of a lot. And I love every second.
This past Saturday morning you were obsessed with a video of you on Daddy’s phone. So I had a good time balancing getting you some exercise with basically, having you chase yourself in Selfie mode. You were a monster. And it’s all documented.
I love your energy. I love your conviction. I love your resilience. This is everything we’ve known about you from the day you were born, encapsulated in a single video. It’s more than your pursuit of something, it’s your happiness and commitment to that pursuit throughout. Unwavering.
I am willing to wager that over time, we’ll see more and more efforts like this from you. And it’s our job to make sure you maintain that energy to pursue, and find a way to remain happy while you do.
Challenge accepted, my love. Challenge accepted.
Pure. Joy. ‘Nuff said, munchkin.
This is the most amazing picture I have ever seen. I don’t believe a more adorable picture has ever been taken. I’ve been to Hallmark. I’ve seen all the black and white greeting cards of children. And frankly, I think any picture on the front of one of those cards should be replaced with this.
Work hasn’t been easy. From a physical standpoint, I can say that even with the extraordinary support we’ve received in-person (especially from your Naniji and your Tita Fai), we’re a little more sleep deprived than usual. But when we see you like this, everything resets. Forget 5-hour energy … we should bottle your smile.
Looking at this picture was a life changing experience. Overwhelming. When your mom and I married, I made it my own personal challenge to make her happier day after day. Now I have another fundamental goal. Whenever we are lucky enough to bask in you being this happy, the world will cease to matter and everything will be ok. It will be like a reboot of The Matrix. Our job as parents is to help you get there as often as humanly possible.
Challenge issued. Challenge taken, munchkin. We’re on it.