Septemus 17


Dear Sept,

When I looked in on you tonight, you were smiling in your sleep.

It’s taken us a while, but it finally feels like we’re moving into a happy stretch.

You love school. You know, my background is in education. Seeing you engrossed in your studies makes me a proud and joyful dad.


When homework’s done, it’s time for play!

With the park next door, you’ve got a large play area and more play equipment than I could ever afford. We’ve come to think of the park as our own backyard.

You love the pirate ship.


You’ve been making friends with the neighborhood kids, whom you recruit for crew.

“Captain!” your boatswain yelled. “There’s a big giant pink whale off the starboard side of the poop deck! Ha! Get it? Poop deck!”


You haven’t really got the time nor patience for jokes.

You’re too focused on your duties as captain. Somebody’s got to steer the ship to avoid crashing into the rocks near shore.

Full fathom five thy father lies;
              Of his bones are coral made;
    Those are pearls that were his eyes:
              Nothing of him that doth fade,
    But doth suffer a sea-change
    Into something rich and strange.


You’ve got a good memory for songs. I read you The Tempest a few nights ago, and we sang Ariel’s song. Now you sing it while you’re playing, walking, dancing.

You were singing it at the playground before supper and then again before bed.

“You like that song?” I asked you.

“Yeah. It’s funny,” you said. “I like the part about thosearepearlsthatwerehiseyes and seachangerichandstrange. It’s like even though the kid’s bizaabgotojo is dead and it’s a disaster, he’s not really dead because he’s something wonderful at the bottom of the sea. I like that.”


You’ve got a funny way of thinking. It’s deep and profound, and I like it.

Sometimes I wonder if your bizoopagotogo think the way you do. Or maybe, this is the way everyone thinks on your planet of origin.

And sometimes, I wonder if it was a result of being orphaned and separated from your kin that fostered that deep and thoughtful part of your nature.

And sometimes, I wonder if it is just you–if this is simply who you are, Septemus Sevens: a perceptive, quirky, quiet, pensive, mischievous, insightful, curious boy.

When you were sad, I worried about you being so sensitive.

When you were mad, I wondered about you being so perceptive.

But now that you’re happy and well-adjusted, I simply love all of you. You’re a miracle of a kid, Sept. And this world is better having you here.


Sleep well, moon-munchkin.

–Your pops, who loves you very much

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