You’re Gonna Be Two!: A Birthday Love Letter To My Son


My main man! You’re going to be two this Saturday! Two years old, buddy!

I still can’t believe it.

I really really can’t.

You know, I’m looking at you this morning when we are having our oatmeal together and out of  nowhere I suddenly start remembering the first seconds of your life.

I was dangling the video camera above my head with my one arm and actually cutting the cord that was hooked up between you and Mom with my other (I had planned this extraordinary move for many months in my head!), and I was shaking so hard just watching your brand new tiny cheeks puff up as you made a chipmunk face and breathed your first breath of Earth air.

Oh dude, I was mesmerized by you.

Yeah, I know, dads say that sort of thing all the time: “Watching you get born changed me forever, lad.”

But, it’s all true. I mean, there we were just a few seconds in and you had some kind of Jedi Mind Trick hold on my psyche, making me look at you and flooding me with my own blood rushing hard and hot down through the veins wrapped around my bones.

I got dizzy at one point looking at you, man. Seriously. That’s how heavy this sort of love is; those first few seconds in the life of a new sidekick sledgehammer a daddy with magic. And that magic never ever ends.

And now look at you, kiddo. Almost the big Oh-Two and already you possess this wild sensational organic spirit and more genuine soul than possibly anyone I have ever met. Living with you, being in your world 24/7 and watching you out of the corner of my crow-footin’ eyeball  is like living with a meteorite wrapped up in a warm pile of fresh cotton.

Some days you must just gently wake up and rub your eyes and roll over in the 5am to stare at the ceiling above your big boy bed for a second before deciding what the hell you feel like being today.

There are no patterns, no way for even the best scientists and detectives in the whole wide world to know what that little Bielanko boy  is gonna decide on each morning.

Some days: you’re a damn Kodiak Grizzly.

Other days: you’re a tender-hearted sleepy pancake eater with a Dutchboy haircut.

Lately, you growl at me. Not just for a joke or for fun, either. In your eyes I see you wanting to know where my fear lies, how much deep guttural tiger roaring I can actually take from the chappy lips of the same young gun who refuses to let me change his diaper even when he is wearing about thirty gallons of his own chilled pee from last night.

You amaze me with the way you speak too, bud. You have so many words now, so many sentences even. I had heard that second kids learn things a lot faster on account of them having a big sister and all, but I suppose it went in one ear and out the other.

But man-oh-man were they right.


My favorite thing about you though has to be what you call your older sister, Violet, who is 4 now.


That’s what you say. “No sisser, don’t look at Henry’s cookie! It’s Henry’s, it’s not your, sisser!”

How wonderfully Waltons is that? You call your sister ‘sister.’

But it comes out sisser.

And yeah, I cannot get enough.


There are evenings, little man, when you are so worn out from the livelong day, days when you have fought off your afternoon nap with such Gladiator force that ultimately your mom or me just take two steps back and watch you remain awake against the dire wishes of every last muscle in your tired body. And those are special to me. It’s those kind of nights when I am most likely to get lucky enough to lasso you up into my lap for just a while before your bedtime.

I flip the remote a few times and dial up some Sponge Bob or some Diego, something I know you really dig, and you lay your head back against my chest and fight to keep your eyes open but you have met your match at last and you are not long for this day.

I sneak a peek at you and your eyelids flutter like summer moths. For some reason, you always want to hold back the sleep til you’ve got absolutely nothing left. And on most nights, well, you manage to do it.

But when you start to lose, and we all lose that game eventually, I like being right there with you.

Watching you drift off is pure magic, Henry Benry. It really is.

Then when you are finally out, I stand up ever so slowly and cradle you in my arms and tiptoe towards the stairs to carry you up to your bed.

Tip. Toe.

Tip. Toe.


Don’t bump the wall with his feet!


Don’t bump the railing with his head!


“Hi Dad! I wan some chocwit milk!”



Henry, you bring so much electricity and living into this house that I cannot even imagine our world without you, buckaroo. You make my heart race when I hear you slip-sliding down the steps, half of me afraid you are going to do a flip and roll, half of me all giddy just to see you again, your stubby sock feet thumping across the wooden floor boards, your trillion dollar smile appearing around the corner of the door jamb, like the sun stepping out from behind a cloud to show some dreary day who the hell is boss.

I love you, little buddy, with all of the heart I’ve got.

Thanks for being my best friend.

Happy Birthday!

Love & Hershey Kisses,



Article Posted 4 years Ago

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