Here's a post when Andy was still Critter. Still snug in his watery, pink world. When he was still an, "If, maybe, perhaps, dare I dream". I wrote this letter to him. So far I haven't broken my word to him. And I just ordered his belt. I couldn't put his name on it though. You know how paranoid I am about someone stealing my baby so I couldn't put his name on the back of his belt for someone to call out to him. So it's just a leather belt with white whip-stitching. It's as cute as all hell.
I promise to make homemade ice cream with you once a summer. Not in those new fancy machines, but in the old kind that one person has to sit on while the other cranks the handle. We will drink Big Red on the porch and gripe about the mosquitoes. I’ll try not to embarrass you by braggin’ about you too much. I’ll never part your hair on the side for your school picture. To tell you the truth Critter, I probably won’t even remember the school picture day. You’ll learn to use not just a spinning rod, but a bait-casting rod too, and I won’t yell too loud if you make a bird’s nest with it. You will make tamales on New Years (yes, boys can make tamales). Sometimes I’ll let you pick out a sugar cereal at the store. I’ll look too long at you in the rear view mirror when I drop you off at camp. Speaking of camp, I won’t write your name in your underwear or anything geeky like that. I’ll take you out to the country and let you ride in the back of grandpa’s truck, maybe even on the tailgate.. but probably not. If a movie ever as good as Star Wars comes out again, I’ll let you camp out in line to watch it… but I may not let you dress up like Yoda (I don’t want you to get beat up). I’ll take you to Disney World when you are old enough to remember it, not when you are three years old and all you have to remember it are some photographs that you suspect your parents may have altered to look like Disney World when in fact you were really at some sad street carnival. When it's your birthday I’ll take homemade cupcakes to your classroom (that is if you want me to). I’ll teach you about the Native Americans of Texas and how they adapted to their environment, so if you are ever stuck in the Piney woods, you’ll know how to live like the Caddo. I’ll let you vote Republican if you want. Hell, I’ll even let you go to OU if you want, but you may have to take out a loan and pay for it yourself. If you need braces, I promise to fork over the big money to get you the invisible kind. I won’t be the “cool mom” on the street. No one really respects her, not even her kids. Sometimes I’ll have to take away your fire engine and ground you, or put you in timeout, or maybe even swat your behind. Sometimes I’ll tell you, “no”. But I’ll let you unwrap a gift on Christmas Eve. I won’t buy all your clothes at Gymboree. You know grandma and daddy wouldn't’t let me anyway. I’ll cherish the smell of you when we bring you home from the hospital. We will go down to the shelter and pick out a dog and then we will take it to the old folks home to entertain the seniors. You will listen to their stories about the, “Good ole days”, and you will say “Sir and Mam” to them. I won’t have to tell you this, you will just know. I’ll make corsages for your homecoming dates, but I won’t let you bring girls to the house and close your bedroom door. I was a teenager too once! You can pretend you don’t know who I am if we see a pretty girl at the grocery store, but just once I will have to embarrass you. It’s my right as a parent. Critter, I’m gonna love you as much as possible. I’ll try not to screw you up. When you go through your, “paint the room black and listen to emo music stage”, I’ll still make you come to the dinner table. We all go through those stages. I still have some Cure posters myself. I’ll never give up on you or turn my back on you regardless of who you are or who you become. I’ll never compare you to Jimmy, but I’ll always love Jimmy. I’ll tell you about him when the time is right. He’ll be your big brother. We will be a happy family. Or at least only mildly dysfunctional. I can't wait to meet you and hold you and love you forever.
PS… I will have to buy you cowboy belt with your name on the back. It’s just part of being a sixth generation Texan. When you have your own kid you can do what you want.