Love letter to Yuto

Man, you are growing up!

Not yet even 3 years old, and already you laugh, make jokes, tell fibs, pour your own milk, wash your own plate, put your laundry away (better than me--just ask mom!) fight with your 11 month old baby sister one minute and then tenderly hug her the next. She loves you, and so do your mom and so do I.

We had a great summer vacation, didn't we?
I will never forget your first trip to the ocean.
"Big one coming!" and we jumped over the little ripples while you held me and giggled.

Fireworks? "I'm not scared!"

Then our time at the pool. I will never forget you "swimming! swimming!" as you kicked your arms and legs as I held you above the water. From the bottom pool step, just up to your neck, I stood a bit away, and you jumped toward me, smiling and with utter confidence that I would be there to hold you. Even as you started to go under, you never stopped smiling. For a flash of a moment of a second I thought what it would be like if I wasn't there to pull you up. You never doubted me.

I hope you never lose that trust in people.

When you walk into a room of strangers, you assume everyone is your friend, that everyone will love you. Usually, you're right.

You look older kids right in the eye, and say, "Konnichiwa!" Hello! Good Afternoon! Nice to meet you! More times then not, shy Japanese kids don't know what to make of your friendliness, and mutter a response, or look for their moms.

You always have trouble getting to bed, going to sleep. Last night was no different. "Go to bed, NOW!" I end up shouting. You cry, "Don't get mad, papa!"

You can sing all the songs from "High School Musical" in English.

You are a good climber.

You are a good wrestler.

You are a fast runner.

Last night, I had to go back to work, to get ready for Monday. You wanted to come too, even at 11:00 at night. "I wanna work!"

Finally, after scoldings from mom and me, you got into your futon and got quiet. After a few minutes, in a real quiet voice, you said, "papa? You can go to work now." My heart felt full. "Mama and I are going to sleep, so you go to work." I was at the genkan entrance of the apartment, frozen. "Papa, suki yo" (I love you). "And tomorrow pick me up from preschool in the black car."

Yuto, you don't have to grow up if you don't want to.


your Papa.

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