Saturday, April 12, 2003

Dear Henry:

We went to Turtle Park this morning.

It is actually a beautiful, warm spring day today. This picture was taken in the winter. We ran into Jeffrey and Talia and Ellie and William at the park. I love this city. Jeffrey is back safe and sound from the war. Yeah.

I didn't tell you about Rachel's Bat Mitzvah last weekend. Sorry. It was your kind of party. The girls looked like princesses and the boys wore tuxedos. Ari looked very handsome. The invitations to the party said, "Black Tie Optional." One of the things dads do is give their sons and daughters advice. It is just something we do. One piece of advice I'd give you is if you are invited to a party and the invitation says "Black Tie Optional," go ahead and wear the tuxedo. That advice is probably not necessary for you. You loved to get dressed up. You and Ari are alike that way. Ari was really "bustin' a move" at the party and that made me think of you, too. If you were there you would have been dancing up a storm with your buddy. That would have been fun to watch. Mommy and I played with Jake's mommy and daddy, Helaine and Rich, and Simon's mom, Susan, all night.

Mommy looked beautiful. You would have told her that. I wasn't looking forward to wearing my tuxedo. It's a little silly, but I'll tell you why. I knew that the bow tie and the thing you wear around your waist, the cummerbund (another daddy tip: the cummerbund is also known as a "crumb-catcher" and that helps you know which side is up -- Steve Feldman taught me that), were thrown way in the back of the top shelf of my closet. I think I just threw them back there after the last time I wore my tuxedo which was Catherine and Tim's wedding years ago.

Catherine and Tim and Winnie (can you believe how big she is) came by the other day to say "hello." Joe loves dogs but Jack is freaked out. I think Jack is afraid of dogs because Jinx nipped him in the forehead at the beach when Jack's was a baby. He'll get over it.

I knew there was something else that I threw on that top shelf that I wanted to keep but wasn't ready to look at quite yet. The night you died I pulled the intubation tube out of your throat. When I tried to pick you up to put you on Mom's lap, some blood trickled out of your mouth onto my t-shirt. For some reason I didn't want to take off that t-shirt and I definitely do not want to wash it ever. When President Kennedy died (they mention him in the Animaniac's song about the presidents) his wife wore a dress with his blood stains on it for a really long time. I understand why. Well, seeing that t-shirt wasn't all that bad, but I did start the evening off kinda sad.

The next day after the Bat Mitzvah we ran into Ari at Sullivan's. How perfect is that.

You know, Hen, what really gets me isn't how much I miss you ('cause that is just so huge and constant), but it is how sad I am that you are missing out on so many things I know you love. The Bat Mitzvah, beautiful days at Turtle Park, trips to Sullivans and my new job. Let me tell you a little more about the job. I work at a place called XM Satellite Radio and it is the coolest place. The people there are fun to be around because everyone is so nice and different. There are 300 something people in my building and so many look different, have different skin, different hair, different clothes, everything. XM radio is actually 101 different radio stations playing all kinds of music, and it all comes out of the building where I work here in Washington, DC. There are music stations, comedy stations, and most important of all, two kid's stations. One is Radio Disney, which is what we listened to down in Florida, and the other is called XM Kids. YOU WOULD LOVE XM KIDS! We listen to it all of the time and it is so funny. Jack's favorite songs right now are "Poop Goes the Weasel" and "Twenty-one Toilet Salute." He laughs so hard that I think he is going to pee in his pants. I LOVE to hear him laugh like that. Oops, remember the rule we had against "potty talk" I wonder if I am breaking that. XM Kids even plays a song inspired by Harry Potter and I know you would love hearing that.

Our building is right near the train station. The trains whistle all day. When I hear the noise I look out and see the trains pass by. How cool is that.

You remember that song we used to sing all the time, "I got my mind on my money and my money on my mind?" That was written by a guy with a great name, "Snoop Dog," and the version we listen to is by a group called "The Gourds." Whaddya know, The Gourds came by our building last week and played songs. I asked the person who brought them there to play if they could play the "I got my mind on my money and my money on my mind" song.

I read Goodnight Moon to you last night before I fell asleep. I just wanted you to know that I totally know you are way too grown up for that book. But I really wanted to read it to you. In a way, the little bunny that is getting ready to go to sleep reminds me of you. He looks really cozy and that is how I like to picture you. What is kind of interesting is that Mom and I live your entire life in our minds. We think about you when you were a little squirt all the way up to the big, 7 year old boy you were when you died. I wish there had been a lot more years and a lot more memories.

I love you.


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