I don’t remember the first time you said it. I do remember hearing it for the first time; and going absolutely bonkers.
We were doing yoga in the morning during the early days of COVID-19 and as we sat and talked about what the day held, what was going to make us happy, what was going to get in the way of our happy, what was going to be fun, and what was going to get in the way of our fun; in the midst of that logical juxtaposition of what you want, what you control, what gets in the way, and of that, what you control, somehow we stumbled upon “history”.
Your sister spoke first. And as her usual, eloquent and loquacious self, found a way into a spotlight where there wasn’t one, and then proceeded to find a way to own it.
What were you going to do? You were still a couple months away from knocking on 4’s door and here she was, the love of your life, your role model, choosing to go first in expressing her gratefulness in the morning leaving you to follow?
Was that even fair?
Do they have Mike Birbiglia open for someone who’s trying standup for the first time? You know?
She wasn’t better by design; only by years. At this stage in your life she’s got 50% more experiences than you do. It’s not reasonable to have you follow.
You let her roll. But your lips started turning up at the corners.
And when she finished, you dropped your greatest line and now the way I plan to talk going forward in celebration of amazing things always:
“The best in the whole history.”
It’s so perfect.
It encapsulates you.
It’s succinct. Never take 12 words to say what you can say in 6.
It’s powerful. Never leave doubt on how you’re feeling at the moment.
It’s uniquely generous. Never just give, give in a way people haven’t experienced before.
It’s memorable. Never be forgettable, by choosing to be, say, and do things in unforgettable ways.
It’s sincere. Never fake anything. Ever.
It’s on your sleeve. Never wear anything in your heart or mind, that you wouldn’t wear on your sleeve too.
I love you. You are my absolute and undeniable homie.
I’ve never felt so comfortable expressing my love to someone. Even your sister, at some point, is like “Buhboo, you can’t love me this much!” But you? Naw’man. You? You escalate. When I tell you that you’re the best kid in the world.
Well; you tell me I’m the best buhboo in the history.
A few hours ago you were three; now, at this moment, you’re four. Even you’re reading changed from yesterday to today!
You will never be three to you again. But I want you to know, to me, you’ll always be …
…a little bit of you at one…
…a little bit of you at two…
…a little bit of you at three…
…a little bit of you at four … and I’m so excited to learn about what that means.
The world. We included. Did a lot to you this year. You switched schools a few times. You moved from your Nana and Naniji’s comfortable daily love to a new home without them. You faced COVID-19. You got scratches. And bruises. On your face, your arms, and dare I say and admit, your heart.
You had people debating you when you weren’t there to be.
But every single day I look at you and I’ll say, man, given what the world and we included have thrown at you, you’re so…damn…good.
We owe you more and we owe you better.
People rise and fall to the expectations you set for them, son.
You’ve called each of us the best in the history. It’s our job to rise to that level and I’ll tell you, we’re getting after it.
As for you? Today You Make Me Proud Because of how real you are; and how wonderful you can make the world feel. You have a gravitational pull that isn’t based on mass (that’s me).
As you step into 4 and build on what’s before, I am so proud of who you are fighting to become every day; and I’m more excited about the kid I’m going to be talking about going into 5.
I love you, homie. You truly are incomparable; you are the greatest son in the history.
PS: This year I made you gummy animals for your birthday treat; the ones filled with NERDS are INCREDIBLE! We even made you a dragon one as a primer for How to Train your Dragon: The Hidden World!
But going back to that whole “best in the history” thing we were talking about; you see, 3 days ago you woke up one morning, and when we were getting ready for breakfast you did this dance asking me for gummy bears.
Yeah. Gummy bears.
What’s funny is 2 days earlier I had decided I was going to make you Gummy Bears, ordered all the stuff, and it was on the way.
So I am wicked happy you’re going to have Gummy Bears on your birthday, homie.
And even moreso, that you proclaimed your craving for them while wearing a shirt that would have made JJ happy in pursuit of the Goodest of Times.
But, I’ll tell you, I’ll be as busy as a one-legged cat in a sandbox if one of the greatest moments in my history as a Buhboo (aka father), isn’t the fact that I tapped into your Gummy Bear longing days before you did …
…and then delivered on it.
We got 2020, homie. We got it; because we got each other.
I love you. And all you’re becoming. And all you’ve been.