Ryan Mentock

An Incomprehensive Catalog of Things I've Made and Words I've Written.

A Letter to My Son: 3 Years Later

I was going to write a poem this time, just to keep it different. That reminded me of when your aunt was in Cameroon for a long time and I sent her 100 letters. It took me two years and each one had a piece from a jigsaw puzzle and something I thought she’d enjoy reading. I’d send her lyrics, poems, stories, jokes, news, speeches, just whatever random thing I was thinking about at the time. Most of them were lost, but I think she liked the ones she got. The puzzle was a little cat and a duck. I thought about starting to do that, since maybe you’d rather read something else, but then I started writing this letter. I’m just going to keep going with it.

I’m still trying to be better for you. I had expected it to get easier eventually, but I’m giving up on that at this point. Nothing seems to be getting easier, so I’ll try harder. Your sister makes me so happy that I don’t cry as often, but it hurts to see her play with older kids, or even playing by herself. I can imagine her playing with you, and how much she’d look up to her big brother, and how much you’d love her. You were so perfect. She is just like you.

Your sister is so beautiful. She is growing up fast. Everyone says she is adorable and how she looks like me, which doesn’t seem possible, but it’s true. I bet you would’ve looked like me, too. She likes bubbles and dogs and she can put her own shoes on, even the ones with the straps. She loves her mom and Nana and Grampa so much. She knows what a cow says, and she can count to one. We’re still working on two, but she already has five and eight down so we’re almost there. I tell her I love her and kiss her as often as I can. I did the same with you, I just didn’t have as many chances. I think of you every time I see her and I love you just as much.

Your Great Grandma Betty died on the 21st. You technically met her once, when we visited while your mom was pregnant with you. She gave me a bunch of tools that I haven’t really used much yet, but she was excited to meet you. Maybe you’ll see her around. She loved you.

I still haven’t moved your box. I reached for it once, meaning to move it, but then I didn’t know where I’d put it, so I just left it. It’s fine where it is, really, but I promise I’ll be strong enough to open it soon.

I’ll get to work on that poem. Please watch over your sister and keep her safe.

I love you, Calvin.