Happy ____, Cricket

Three or four times last year, I wrote Cricket a letter—my dad travelled a lot when I was small, and the postcards he sent from around the world mean a lot to adult me, so I thought that making sure that he had a written record of the fact that we care and have been around might be a good thing. The problem is that it is super awkward to write to a baby: I had some better moments, like talking about the hawks we saw while driving up the coast, and some less good moments—like telling Cricket about our inability to find a decent Mexican restaurant in town. I don’t want to quit writing, but I have found myself dreading it a bit.

Mr. Book’s mom sends him cards for every holiday, and while I was looking at the Christmas card on our fridge, I realized that I should steal her idea: we’ll send Cricket holiday cards, write as much inside as will reasonably fit, and avoid the need to fill whole pages with small talk for a baby. Maybe it’s a cop-out, but I feel relieved. I ordered some cards that I really like—minor mental derail when I realized that Ruth and Nora probably won’t like them at all (just an issue of taste; they aren’t in any way offensive), but I decided to go ahead—and we’ll start the year off with a Valentine sent in a couple of weeks.

I’ve decided to wait two months after Ruth’s stated intention to schedule a visit—February 8—and then ask about whether they have a visit time in mind. I don’t really want to have a visit right now, to be honest, but I almost never do; I want visits to go on, I just don’t look forward to or really enjoy the actual visits. But if we’re going to make regular visits a normal thing, we should probably go ahead and put another one on the calendar. I don’t really know how big an impact my request to discuss serious stuff has had on Ruth and Nora. I don’t know whether it is making them reconsider visits, or whether it was a minor irritation that hasn’t really stayed with them. I think that asking is a pretty bad idea, but I do wish that I knew. In the absence of that knowledge, I guess my job is just to act normal and be cheerful.

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2 thoughts on “Happy ____, Cricket

  1. My grandfather sent me a Valentine’s card every year, love from guess who??? never signed. Birthday cards came once I was more of an adult too, often with a little check. Toward the end of his life, the cards slowed, as memory faded & when he died, I really could feel sad not to have any more guess who? in my life & happy that those cards had punctuated Valentine’s Day for so so many years.

    That to say, the cards sound like a great way to reach out to a very young person.

    Will you forgive me if re: visits, I keep thinking time is your best ally? So far, from our experience, that’s what I think (& hope).

    And don’t worry if Ruth & Nora like the cards’ style; the cards aren’t for them anyway!

  2. I don’t know if this is helpful, but as an adoptive mom, I don’t think you should worry about whether Ruth and Nora would like the cards you chose. If my son were to get mail from his mom, I’d be happy if it seemed like she chose something she thought he would like, or something that reflected her own taste–after all, the point of the card would be to communicate about herself to him, and the design of the card is part of that, even if he won’t necessarily understand that element until he’s older. I wouldn’t expect her to choose cards or gifts according to my tastes or to think of them at all.

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