It’s been a week since your second birthday, and I still have yet to write my birthday letter to you. Things are just as hectic as everyone said they would be. Some days I accept it. Some days I rage against it like King Lear and the thunderstorm. But every day I’m grateful for what you and your siblings have taught me about what’s important. I was so set on this idea of “making it” and “getting noticed” that I forgot why I started to write to begin with. I wrote and created art to feel normal and well inside. It became my medication, protecting me from a mediocre world with mediocre ideas and even more shallow emotions.
Now there is no time to let those demons have their way. I have to make the time to write when I can find the time and when I’m bold enough to take artistic risks. Hollywood, the publishing world, and any industry under the sun wouldn’t have known what to make of me anyway. Not to mention, stardom sounds about as interesting as cyanide these days.
For the first time, I fear death more than anything. It might not be saying much to the average person, but it’s a revolutionary idea to me. For the first time, I don’t need the Shangri-la promise of celebrity-induced admiration to get me through my days. I only need the admiration of the people under one roof. My roof. And that roof is bigger than the world, and big enough to fill my love for you, and my love for everyone in it. But today I reaffirm my love for you, Emile. Because you are 2-years-old today. And you will be 2-years-old forever in my heart, a heart once filled with the wrong things. False things. With bad feelings and dumb ideas. The struggle is real and the struggle is to be as honest and good as possible in every corner of your life. The struggle is the embodiment of suffering, but it’s the only struggle that counts.
I don’t claim to have won that battle, but I know that I am winning. And I can give you no birthday gift to compensate for that.
I love you, Emile. How did I ever make it without you and your siblings? God only knows.