Date: October 23, 2000
To: Caleb Joshua and Micah David Maeda
From: Lil' Uncy Dave
Subject: Proud of our Minnesota Twins
Welcome to the world. You haven't seen it yet, but the foggy drizzly unrelenting gray you have constantly been exposed to thus far isn't what this place is usually like. The world can be full of sun, full of cotton ball clouds, and don't get me started about rainbows. And it doesn't take much to make a difference. Your arrival in the blah fall Minnesota weather certainly brightened things more than a notch or two.
As I look at your peaceful sleeping twin faces I wonder are you dreaming yet? What goes on in those brand new heads cutely kept covered by hospital garb? As you grow up I have one small bit of uncly advice: It's never too early or late to dream. Dream big. Dream small. Dream in color. Dream creatively. Dream in your sleep. Dream while you are awake. Share your dreams. Dream away.
Consider this doozy (and maybe when you're old enough to read this you'll be kind enough to explain it to me) I had just a few weeks before you were born. In my dream I was hired to work in a bright white room at the Como Zoo. I remember feeling a sense of satisfaction knowing I'd finally be able to work in a lab coat- kind of a life long secret ambition. My job was to watch this new exhibit, a pre-historic white looking animal that slightly resembled a mouse. I was told this "thing" was not a fossil although it hadn't moved for millions of years. It was still alive but just not showing it.
As my bosses left the room I carefully tended to my duties. The serenity of the stillness was calming. But alas I began goofing around as I am wont to do when left unsupervised. Singing my lil heart out I was sort of waltzing around when I accidentally brushed up against the exhibit. All of a sudden it began to rapidly transmogrify into an orange shaped duck/bowling pin looking being with one gigantic foot. I was of course a tad alarmed at this series of events but remained in the room. This bowling pin like duck led me out of the zoo into another area of town. It knew exactly where it was going. Waddling on its one foot it took me to a dark room with strobe lights and an expansive dance floor. There it not so gently nudged me into the middle of a circle of four of my friends past and present. One of these people not so meekly edged up against me and was guiding me on to the dance floor when I woke up in a cold sweat.
So what is the meaning of this dream? And could it perhaps be best explained by that can of sardines Max the cat and I shared shortly before bedtime? Well kids, let's break it down. The white room, lab coat and mouse looking relic might represent the view that life is one long laboratory and that we are all part of an unclear social experiment. That experiment is upset however whenever one is bumped into out of the blue. A new direction is cast.
The duckly bowling pin is a bit more difficult to understand. Maybe it's about falling into the trap of following those that aren't always the steadiest (or sturdiest for that matter) guides. Sometimes we follow paths against our instinctive intuition and it's those times we can often end up in an uncomfortable situation. Yet there is benefit in discomfort. It can cause you to think, and as your need to be changed diapers remind you, it can lead to a good cry or two.
You kids have so much in front of you, so much to look forward to. Make no mistake, often life can seem a rather daunting task. Sometimes it's all you can do to roll yourself out of bed. Consider yourself fortunate therefore that you both have a natural partner to help you through the rougher days. Only you will know what it truly means to have a twin (of the true external kind anyway) and I'm sure the bond between you two will be something both of you will cherish. As a child I had a special connection with your father, my brother. Believe it or not I used to have a nearly indecipherable mumbling way of speaking and for a long time he was my translator for the world. As my oratory skills have blossomed my ability to be understood hasn't always followed along. Yet there are days I think being incomprehensible has its advantages. Or in terms already familiar to you, sometimes it's more effective to scream your lungs out when you are tired or cold rather than speaking in a lucid erudite manner.
I'll leave you with one final thought: it is sad that you arrived the year following your grandmother's death. As good as you both undoubtedly will turn out, you would have been better people for knowing her. There'll be others to play Nintendo with you, and there'll be others to explain to you the beauty of the balk rule in baseball, but there won't be anyone who can replace what she would have added to your lives. They say her spirit survives in all of us who remain, the many of us who she touched, and I pray that in the very least you'll be able to share and sometimes see (and feel) that spirit.