Hello, Eben

I’m your dad.

You’re brand new here.

There are a lot of things I want to share with you. We’ll get to experience them with your sister, and your mom, and it’ll be a lot of fun.

This isn’t the whole list—the list is pretty long—but we’ve got time to see it all.

The afternoons in late October, when the sky is an empty blue, and it feels like you could fall up into it, and keep going forever.

Your grandmama’s chicken with brown gravy, and how delicious it is, and having the last bite of rice or mashed potatoes, where it’s so good it makes the back of your throat tingle.

The crescendo of “Milano,” by Sigur Ros, where it swells into a cathedral of transcendent joy, and I can explain the feeling of standing behind the door, looking at the crowd of our family and friends waiting for the ceremony to start, because this was the last song to play before your mom and I got married.

The smell of an onion browning in butter, which means dinner’s coming and it’ll be good.

The warmth of a cat snuggled on your chest, its head leaning against your shoulder, and the soothing vibration of its purr.

A cold glass of milk.

Sitting on the sunroom couch after all the excitement of Christmas at grandmama and granddaddy’s house, light pouring through the window, closing your eyes and enjoying the languor of the country ham sleepies.

Hearing your sister giggle, or laugh, or say “You’re my superhero.”

The shine in your mom’s half-closed eyes, when she’s smiling at something she loves so much that she’s about to cry.

When the setting sun lights up the sky in orange peel and pale lemon, and the clouds shine at their leading edges like glass spun from cotton.

We’ve got a lot to catch up on, buddy.

I love you so much.

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