I keep sending you things. It was your birthday, so I sent you a book that I made, some boots, gloves and a warm hat. I sent sissy some too. Then I sent you a box of building blocks with animals, vehicles and people accessories for Christmas. Enough for you to share with cousins; 20 month Nathaniel, 3 yr old Crystal and someday the two babies, your sister Elizabeth; only 3 months old and your baby cousin, Claire; 4 months. I also sent the whole family some footies. You love footie jammies. It must be crowded there with all of you. Maybe loud and busy, too. You have mommy, daddy Tom, Shanna, Willie, his girlfriend and your Montana Grandma, and you and the other four kids. I probably should send you tiny things, fold-able things, maybe nothing at all. Invisible things. But I like thinking of you holding what I placed in a box just hours before. Your small hands wrapped around an ornament, a gingie cookie that I’d cut and iced the night before- one for each of you. I wonder how you play. Is there any floor space? Where are your clothes? Your books? Do you still sleep in a box? Do mommy and daddy have a room yet?
I don’t ask when I call, because I just want to hear you talk and listen to the noises in the house. “Don’t come in the kitchen.” ” Out!” “Go and turn on TV.” “Get out of here.” ” No! pinching hurts him, Nathaniel.” “Don’t do that. ” And I hear a baby cry. Is it Ellie? I’ll hold her, I think. You all probably need a hand. Mine aren’t ever too busy to hold a baby or to help you tell Nathaniel not to pinch, but to ask when he wants the phone. We could teach him to tell us. Just like we tell Georgia not to jump when she’s happy to see you. And you tell her to sit and she does. She twirls around when we go to your old house to find you, but flops down when you aren’t there.
I found one blue slipper in the sand box that Jim built for you. Is one of your feet cold? I put it in the package with some little presents. I hope you took the other slipper to Montana. I was sad when I found your new backpack in the garbage. Some other baby may want to go hiking in it someday. I put it in my garage. I still have the picture of you in it.
Maybe this summer sissy can sit in it and the three of us will go for a big hike. You can walk by yourself now. You have your own camel back pack with a water bladder. When you wear it, we hike very very slowly. Because each time you want a drink, which is so fun with the tube there to suck on; your feet stop moving. And I wait for you. There’s more drinking and waiting than hiking. That’s just fine. “We are in no rush,” I told Grandpa. Someday we’ll be asking you to wait for us.
Let’s go to Echo Lake this summer, okay? I like thinking about it.