The Difference Between Jason and Eva

When Jason was a baby and the sun got in his eyes, he would cry in pain and frustration. He would thrash around, straining against the straps of his car seat--usually this happened in the car, you see--and shout things like "No, sun! Ahhh! That hurts my eyes!" Juliette and I would explain, again and again, that he should close his eyes and look the other way, but he would stubbornly refuse.

"Just look the other way, buddy.  It won't hurt if you don't look at it."


"Just look the othe way."

"No, it won't feel better! No!"

At which point we would calmly inform him that we were done talking about that.

After over three years of coaxing and explaining, and praising him whenever he did look away, he finally got it, and now it's not a problem anymore. Usually.

The first time I looked into my rearview and noticed the sun in Eva's eyes, she closed her eyes and turned her head. She was less than two months old.

I'd say that about sums it  up, right there.


"Daddy, I'm making these into binoculars."


"I'm making my hair beautiful."

"OK, well it's time to brush your teeth now."

"No! It's not beautiful yet!"


It's probably a good thing the door was locked.

Tucked In

Sometimes the amount of consideration Jason can have for others--even his toys--takes my breath away.


I'm obviously not doing a great job with the "daily" thing these days, but I'm going to try to get back in the swing of things.

First Day in a New Class

"Daddy, I don't want to be in Ms. Marjan's class today."

I looked down at Jason. "What? You like Ms. Marjan. And all your friends have already moved up to her class. You're going to have so much fun being in the same class with them again."

"No, I'm not," he insisted sullenly.

I adjusted my grip on Eva's carseat/baby carrier--it was her second day at daycare, but my first day bringing her--and looked down at Jason, trying to be sympathetic but firm. "I'm sorry, buddy," I said, "But it's time for you to be in her class now. You've been getting all ready for this, and now it's time."

He didn't respond, just held my hand as we kept walking.

We were running a bit late this morning, so by the time we got to his new classroom--separated from his old "room" by just a short partition running across the space--the rest of the kids were already sitting down in their circle and the teacher was handing out little cards to each of them. We hurried to get his blanket, stuffed animal, and sweater into his cubby and then I led him over to the group.

"OK, buddy, can I have a hug?" I asked, kneeling beside him. He didn't say anything, just wrapped his little arms around my neck and buried his face into my shoulder. He didn't wail or cry out, the way he usually does when he's upset. He just hugged me tightly and sniffled a little.

I pulled away from him gently. "Look at me buddy." He lifted his teary eyes to meet mine, and I could see that he was trying to hold it together. "Jay, you're going to have a really good day. All your friends are here to play with you, and it's going to be lots of fun. You're a big boy, and you can do this."

His face screwed all up and his voice broke as he threw his arms around me again. "Daddy, I don't want you to go."

I looked down to my side where Eva was sleeping in her carrier. Jason has been a wonderful big brother, and I can see that he genuinely loves his sister. But it's hard on him, too, dealing with change over the past few months. Just last night he got out of bed an hour after I tucked him in, saying that he didn't like being all by himself in his room. I know it's because Eva sleeps in a cradle by our bed, and try as we might to explain that she needs to be in our room because she's a baby, and that she'll be moving into her own room soon, he can't grasp yet that different people have different needs. He just knows that everyone--even the dog--sleeps in Mommy and Daddy's room, except him.

All of that flashed through my mind as I knelt there holding him, and my heart just about broke. I want so much to show him that I love him just as much as I always have, and just as much as his sister. I take time to play with him, and give him as much affection as he'll let me. But right at that moment it didn't feel like I'd done enough.

A few moments passed, then the teacher called Jason over to help her. He wiped his eyes with the back of his hand and went over, and she shooed me away, mouthing "Have a nice day!" behind his head.

As it happened, Juliette stayed home sick today, so I was the one to pick the kids up after work. When I arrived, he was out in the yard, running around and playing happily with his little friends. He ran over as soon as he saw me, smiling.

I crouched down to look him in the eyes and smiled. "Jay Jay, can I tell you something?" I asked.


"I love you very much, and I missed you a lot today," I said. "I thought about you all day."

He hugged me. "Me too, Daddy."



It sure has been a long time since I posted a photo, especially considering this is supposed to be a daily thing. Here's one from my photo shoot this past weekend. I don't know what he's looking at or what he's thinking about. It would be neat to be able to know, I think.


Nikon D7000, Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G
f/2.8, 1/160, ISO 200

Three Years

Dear Jason,

As I write this, there are still thirty minutes left in your birthday. Actually, this means that my timing is pretty good, since you were born around 11:30 PM. I'd like to say that was intentional, but that would be a lie, and as I'm always telling you, it's not nice to lie.

It's been a big year for you. You got your first big boy bed in January. You had your first dance recital. You were a "ring bear" at your Auntie's wedding. You got to go to Disneyland for the first time. I wasn't there for that last one because I had to work--sometimes it feels like I miss a lot because of work, but then when I go back and look at the pictures I see that I was actually around for most things. I hope that's true, anyway.

The thing you've most been looking forward to--other than your birthday party, which you've been talking about since October--is your baby sister being born. You talk about it all the time. "I'm going to do that when I'm a big brother," you'll say. Some of your claims are reasonable, like when you say you're going to give your sister kisses and gentle hugs when you're a big brother. Some are less reasonable, like when you say you're going to drive Daddy's car. You're also quite adamant that the name you picked for her--Tinkerbell--is her real name, and you will brook no disagreement. I wonder how long that will stick.

Every day I see you figure out something new--you're growing up faster than I know how to deal with. You already can't wait to be big; I can't help but want you to stay young. Though, I suppose if I'm being honest, I'll be OK with you growing up if it means fewer tantrums. (Maybe in a year I'll be laughing at myself having written that.) Well, I suppose I have to be OK with it either way.

I think a lot about your future, especially about how it'll be for you once your sister arrives. I think you'll be a good brother, but then I think it might be kind of hard for you sometimes, too. I know it was hard for me sometimes--you can ask Uncle Karl about that when you get older, I'm sure he'll have plenty of stories for you. Sometimes when I think about what we're taking away from you by having another baby it makes me sad, but my hope is that in the long run we'll be giving you more than you lose. All I can tell you is that for Mommy and me, having siblings has been one of the best and most important parts of our lives. I hope you feel that way, too.

You're asleep right now, which is good because it's late and you had a big day with Mommy at Legoland. I wasn't there for that, but I will be there when we go to Disneyland this weekend, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how happy you're going to be. You and me, kiddo, we're going to have some good times.

Happy birthday, buddy. I love you.

Soundtrack: "Wavy Glass," by Podington Bear

After a Big Tantrum

"Jason, I want to tell you something."


"I love you."

"I love you too."

"I always love you, Jason."


"Even when I'm mad."


"Sometimes I get upset with you, but I always, always love you. OK? Please don't lick me."

Looking Out

Looking Out

Over the course of the weekend, the light around the Big Sur River Inn (my in-laws' business) kept catching my eye. The weather was really nice, with hardly a cloud in the sky, and when you combine that with the tall trees throughout the property, what you get are these shifting pools of bright sunlight in between broad patches of shadow. This one was right outside our room.

Jason wasn't actually supposed to be climbing that rail, of course, but trying to keep him off of any climbable surface (or any unclimbable surface, for that matter) sometimes requires more energy than I have. Plus, you know, it is actually kind of cute.


Nikon D40, Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 DX
f/1.8, 1/2500, ISO 200

first prev ... 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 ... next last