My dearest Elizabeth,
How the time flies! It’s been almost four months since my last letter, and just typing all of this, adding photos, etc., to finally get it published has taken several days. So much that has unfolded during this time, so I hope I’m able to recall and fit it all in here.
Let’s start by going back to December. You and Mom started a new chapter, with her taking a new job, and you going along with her, starting preschool. That’s going well. You look forward to “going to school,” and have made friends there. Selina’s job keeps her super busy and it’s still a change we’re all adjusting to, with, in addition, my working more and more from home, balancing running and trying to build my business, and still working a couple evenings outside the house, trying to keep the house in order, and taking on more and more responsibility in my new role as a Toastmaster. It’s a juggling act, for sure, but we’re doing well.
I’m not sure who it is that’s been giving all these things to you, but at least one of your “teachers” and some of the parents have somewhat regularly been giving you clothes. This is one of the first ones, a traditional Chinese vest.
And this one is from a couple days later, after your first trim (Dad did it himself), sucking down your old man’s Oreo milkshake.
And while you’re growing and taking on a whole bunch of new skills and vocabulary, you still have a silly streak, as proven in this next photo, in which you’ve decided that the styrofoam wrap is better suited as headwear than as a cushion for the pear that it came with.
And here you are in the bedroom, all pj’ed up and ready for bed, with the your new stuffed dog (and your new favorite gesture).
On one of those unusually beautiful, sunny days that we had in mid-December, I decided it was a good occasion for us to play hookie, so the two of us heading into Taipei to check out the new Children’s Amusement Park.
That last photo, sitting on the elevated train, is still one of my favorite recent shots of you. You were already pretty tired, having missed your nap, played at the park for a couple hours.
And as luck would have it, we ran into an old friend of mine, Christopher. And it was his first time seeing you in the flesh, so he was pretty excited to finally get to make your acquaintance.
Fast forward to 2017. You’ve fully adjusted to your new preschool environment, and you’re showing the signs of a budding toddler artist.
And you really like that gesture—it’s the Taiwanese in you, I guess—but it still takes some practice to get those fingers just right.
As the Chinese New Year approached, and winter finally began rearing its ugly head, more sleep was in order. And you and Mom take this very seriously, often leaving no room for Dad.
The CNY holiday break was only six days this year, and we spent most of it relaxing at home, spending quality time together as a family. But we did get out a couple times, and on one of the fairer weather days, met up with Dad’s first friends in Taiwan, the Chiu family, and drove up to the coast to have lunch together. The restaurant happened to have kiddie rides outside, so it took some prying to get you back to the car afterward. But you were so happy in the few minutes that you got to play.
And Daddy bought you a new beanie.
Due to all the holidays, we have missed a lot of swimming classes. But your love for being in the water hasn’t faded. In fact, getting you out of the pool is not easy. Here you are, with Mom, after class was over.
One of your favorite things to do most of the time is sing. Sometimes that includes dancing and/or gestures. Oftentimes it involves a lot of making things up as you go, including mixing lyrics from one song to another, or quickly switching to a new tune mid-song. Either way, Mom and I find it endlessly entertaining.
Waiting for dinner seems to be one of the more popular times to burst out in song.
It’s probably in your genes. You certainly have an appetite, and you have a number of favorites—pizza, ice cream, cookies, and cake, to name a few, get you pretty excited. I know I got my love of ice cream from my father, and you’re already following in that regard.
We still do really well as far as keeping sweet in check. We have a strict no candy rule and have managed to keep with that religiously. But your mom and I also love fine dessert, so it plays a pretty regular role at mealtime.
And as you continue growing and developing more vocabulary and personality, it’s so much fun to watch how this unfolds especially at dessert time. We’re very proud of the work we have done to instill in you the importance of sharing, but we also find it immensely amusing when you stake claims on the last bite, or for whatever reason think it best to exclude Mom from eating this or that.
This time, while checking out a new nearby pizza place, you called dibs on the last three slices and did everything in your power to make sure we saved them for you. It’s clearly not selfishness, but rather a sign of your love for pizza—you got them from me—and a constant form of entertainment for Selina and me. On that same occasion, you stole all the berries from my creme brule, with amazing speed and skill.
I’m going to try to wrap things up as this is already a bit long and I don’t want to put off publishing it any longer. So here’s a small collection of recent pictures detailing some of our life.
The Kinder bus is at Aimai, our nearest hypermart. The butterfly wings were part of the outfit you wore at one of Selina’s cousin’s wedding. And the last in this set is of you copying Mom doing yoga.
So we did something special just last month, and I think it’s going to be an annual tradition for us. A number of the Indian restaurants in the greater Taipei area come together every year to put on a local version of the Indian Holi festival, and I made sure that we made it this year. For you, it meant mostly playing in the sandbox, but we also had a lot of fun with the watercolors that were distributed to all the participants.
Your old man also got really badly sunburned.
And after half a day of serious play, and no nap, you were out before we even left the parking lot.
Yeah, we’ve been busy. But it’s been the good kind. I’ve gotten my schedule worked out so that we have a full weekend together, all three of us, like most families should and do, and we’re all happy and better off. Since starting this letter there have been other marvelous adventures, and I promise it won’t take four months to share them here with you.