An Open Letter to Atticus
You are in your bed right now. You are finally asleep after a wild tale of wild things, a glass of water, several threats and one last hug and sugar. Your little brother is still awake in the bed across from you. I can hear him singing into the flashlight that he thinks I don't know about.
There are lights turned low. Your mother is watching television. I am sipping a beer by candlelight and listening to music that makes people cry.
You should know that I'm a melancholy fool and I always have been. You've probably figured this out by now, even if you don't know what melancholy means.
A year ago was a milestone and suddenly you've leaped to another one. Life is funny like that. Milestones happen.
We are in a new town. A new state. You were born here and so you've returned. The school is new, too. It's your old school turned inside out to protect you from the rain. The bricks are the same color as those you remember. The bathrooms all smell the same.
You seemed so little then. You seem too big now. You have outgrown everything except hugs and sugars. You are sweet like that.
You are smart and kind and so funny it's dangerous. You are going to find yourself in a lot of trouble and it will be your mouth that gets you there. You got that from me. Also, my eyes. Your smile you got from your mother.
Tomorrow is the first day of first grade. Tomorrow is a new chapter and the adventure is yours for the choosing. Don't always take the easy way.
Tonight is full of wind in the trees and dogs in the distance and piano keys bouncing off the living room walls. Tonight is the quiet before your storm.
But it's not really that quiet. We have hatches to batten down, strong and deep, and milestones to go before we sleep.
Milestones to go before we sleep.
Give them hell, Kid.
In case you missed my grown-man crying about kindergarten:
All He'll Ever Need to Know He'll Learn in Kindergarten
The Boys of Summer are Gone
In Other Words, Hold My Hand
Me and Atticus Down by the Schoolyard