Dear Benevolent Dictator:
Yesterday, you turned 22 months old. And the past month has been one filled with milestones -- we visited your Aunt Stella and family in New York state, you learned how to climb the VERY TALL chain ladder to our neighbor's playground (as well as go down the slide), sit on a grown-up swing by yourself and a host of other amazing things.
But the one that sticks in my mind right now is from my perspective. This month, is the first time your father and I told a lie to your face. Now before you go running into therapy saying that we never loved you and that your entire life was a sham, let me say that this lie maybe be true, but the cynic in me says the odds are pretty bad.
Then again, Susan Boyle surprised the hell out of all of us who expect our singers to look like supermodels, so anything is truly possible.
It started one rainy day when you saw a beetle in our house. You were so excited and immediately asked your father what "THAT" was. Daddy told you what it was, and added that he would try and take the beetle outside, where it belonged.
Well, you loved the beetle the first time you laid your eyes on it. You were waving and yelling, "HI! HI!" at it as your father got a napkin and attempted to marshal it onto the napkin to take it outside.
Unfortunately, the beetle didn't realize that's what your father was intending to do. Instead of marching onto the napkin and then outside to freedom, the beetle panicked and then fell down an air vent.
"Beetle?" you asked your father.
"Well, the beetle didn't know what I was doing, so it jumped down the air vent," your father said, in an attempt to stick to the truth.
"BEETLE?" you yelled down the air vent.
And this is where the lie began. "I'm sure he's fine," your daddy said. "I think he might be trying to find a way to escape."
Admittedly, I thought your concern over the beetle would only last a few minutes, but nope. For the past few days, you've been asking, "DADDY? BEETLE?" as if to verify that your father and I are telling a consistent story.
And this is where I feel like a shit. My 22-month-old daughter is asking me what happened to the beetle and instead of giving her the odds-accurate answer of, "Well, chances are good he's dead," I'm giving you the craziest, biggest answer.
Yes, it is possible that the beetle survived. Yes, it's possible that the beetle found a way out of the house via one of our many air vents. The odds of that? Not great. But again, possible. And maybe that's the whole lesson in this. We all know sometimes that the odds are great of something happening (see Susan Boyle, Jamaican bobsledders, etc.) , but they do happen.
I suppose that in this case, I don't want to squash that sense of hope. You're too young to be a jaded cynic. Hell, I think most of us are too young to be jaded cynics. Cynicism is something that we slip into too easily when we feel defeated and tired. There's always a chance for success and you never know what will happen unless you go for it.