Month 43 — Henry

Dear Henry,

This is my attempt to capture you at three-and-a-half. You are the social butterfly of the family. You love chatting up adults you meet at the park, and when your sister is at school, you routinely ask at 11 a.m. “Can we pick up Eleanor now?” I have yet to provide an answer that satisfies you.

Like most 3-year-olds, you are in the question phase of life. Let me rephrase: You are the champion of the question phase of life. We have been trying to watch the “Planet Earth” documentaries with you and Eleanor, but you fire off so many questions that we are unable to hear the program and usually end up turning it off. I don’t know why lizards like to eat those particular bugs or why the desert rains come in a deluge. We’ll find out someday.

Your imagination has taken off in the past few months, and you are often fighting monsters, robbers, or bad guys. You use superpowers to fight, and lava power is your favorite. Lava power is, of course, when you shoot lava at the other guy. You also use ice power, flying power, and a range of powers that I cannot comprehend. Tree power? Along with your superpowers, you have invented a house, pets (including a sea turtle), and children for yourself. You drive an orange truck.

Along with all of the fun things you create comes a lot of fear. This is your first question each morning: “Is it going to storm today?” A few days ago, you cut short a soccer game with Dad and Eleanor because you were certain the gray clouds overhead signaled impending doom. Even when we insist that you are safe, that no storms are near, you will argue about the clouds to the point of tears. You are also terrified of flushing toilets and hand dryers, and your hands are often flying up to cover your ears. Eleanor was the same at your age, and I was, too. Seems that I have passed you my hearing superpowers.

You have become sensitive to other people’s feelings lately and are the first one to offer me a hug when I’m feeling down. Hold onto that. You are outgoing and dexterous, and you still have a darling dimple in your right cheek, and so I often think that you will be the popular kid in school. However cool you may become (or not, because look at your parents), I hope that you will always be the kid who recognizes when others are in trouble and wants to help.