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Dear Ezra: Month Thirty-four

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Dear Ezra-

One night, as I was putting you to bed, you decided you had a little mischief left in you and ran over to the light switch, flipping it on and consequently waking up a sleeping Zella. I got pretty mad. It freaked you out a bit. As I was calming you down, trying to explain the meaning of my anger, I said to you, “When you do that, it makes me sad.” Your response, which broke my heart into tiny pieces, was this: “I don’t want to make you sad, Dada.”

I’m writing that one down as proof, to be trotted out some far off day, that you used to prefer to not make my blood pressure rise.

For now, though, you’re just an adorable, cheerful, friendly little kid. You’re growing into a caring older brother, with a younger sister who just simply thinks you’re the cat’s pajamas. You are confident and fearless to a fault, often happy to leave your parents’ sight without hesitation — a trait I am both proud and ashamed of having nurtured.

One day this fearlessness bit us back in a almost-tragic way. We were putting you down to bed and found that your favoritest monkey Popo, who is always with you at bedtime, was gone. We turned over the house looking for him, and came up empty. Somehow we got you to sleep anyway, with backup favorite Haha taking the reins. As you slept, we figured it out: you must have taken him with you to the nearby park with your babysitter Herminia earlier that day. Nine hours had already passed, so we were not hopeful. Mama’s quick search the next day turned up nothing.

We considered our options. Do we order another Popo from Amazon? Do we sit you down and explain the ephemeral nature of things? We punted, and said Popo was on vacation. Then a miracle occurred. Despite our fruitless searching, Herminia had gone to the park herself and hunted for Popo. And she found him! She appeared at the door with monkey in hand, but the drama of it all was completely lost on you. As were any lessons, as you blithely tried to take him out again the next day. What could go wrong?

The complexity of your language skills continues to mature. It’s just slow enough that it seems smooth to two of us who talk with you every day, but even to your nana and papa and grammy, your improvements from week to week are vast. Prepositional phrases that weren’t there before suddenly show up. Recently you started to conjugate verbs properly, and you even have begun to understand complicated differences like “so many” vs. “so much”. It really is amazing to see grammar take hold, simply as a consequence of constant exposure to other people talking.

You’re well on the path toward being able to read, starting with an ever-improving grasp on recognizing the alphabet. I’d say by now you have half the letters down by sight. You also know your alphabet song pretty well, though recently the first line has evolved into “A, B, C, D, E for me….” Due to the gorgeous painted abecedary on your bedroom wall, you have an amusing canon of example words for each letter. This was exposed during Passover, when cousin Dani attempted to get you to help with the four questions:

Dani: “Ezra, repeat this after me: Why is this night…”
Ezra: “Y is… for Yoda.”

E is for Ezra, Z is for Zella, and Y is for Yoda. Everything else is details.

Hats off to you, little man. Thanks for making Dada happy.


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