Hello, Doll. It’s been a while. You are 29 months old now… a walking genius and a babbling fool. Your vocabulary increases by the minute, though the language is yet to be determined. This is your first Spring to be upright and mobile, so The Great Outdoors holds a whole new treasure of discovery. I cannot keep up with you. I know this is only the beginning of me feeling this way.
Last week, you and I took our first solo road trip 5 hours East to Cleveland. Cleveland, to many, is like Gotham City, but I have been to Muskegon and Killeen so I am not afraid. Your mamma can be tough when she has to be tough. Have no fear.
We went to Cleveland because your Great Gramma Kluska is not doing so hot. She has to live in assisted-living now… in a truly wonderful facility that has daily therapy and really good food. But, she’s sad. She’s 83 and has lived alone for 50 years now… so she’s sad. You (her only great-grandchild) and I drove out there to surprise her and to help pack up her old apartment. While you were minimally helpful in the packing department, you were stellar in the ‘cheering people up’ department. It’s hard to be sad when you’re around gabbin’ to people and sneaking drinks of their pop. This place had lots of straws, so you were in your own personal Heaven.
You and Gramma Great go to the same kind of therapy, Ry! When we arrived, Gramma Betty was deep into dexterity practice, which is old-hat to you. You jumped right in and finished her homework. I was happy to tell your therapists you did not miss a session while you were ‘on vacation.’ The nursing home says you are welcome back any time because YOU ARE SO DARN CUTE so long as you let them know before you move any more patients down the hall in their wheelchairs.
Rylie, this letter is really a confession and an apology. See, we hopped in the car Tuesday morning barely awake and JUST unpacked from Florida. Child, I forgot to pack pants for us both. I cannot explain it. By Thursday, your only pair of jeans were a milk-encrusted cracker-crumbed MESS. There was nothing left to do but go to the mall.
I took you to JC Penny’s wearing only your diaper. Gramma Sue bought you a dress.
You handled it very well. And, we were all appropriately clothed for the 4 Generations of Kluska Women photograph.
I love you, Child. I love how you bring joy to every situation… even the hard, sad, sucky ones. And I love how there’s almost always a craisin stuck to the bottom of your shoe.
Love always and always, Mamma