Jo van Gogh-Bonger to Vincent van Gogh. Paris, Saturday, 29 March 1890.
Among all the letters from brothers and sisters, mine wishing you the best may not be missing tomorrow, and I do it at the same time on behalf of your godchild, who can’t do it very well himself yet. He always looks with very great interest at Uncle Vincent’s paintings, though — in particular the tree in blossom that hangs over our bed really fascinates him — and the Rembrandt too, although I can’t swear that it isn’t the gold frame that attracts him. He’s thriving, fortunately — we’re longing to show him to you. But there’s still a whole art to being father and mother — perhaps it’s because I’ve had to learn and experience so many things in this one year — because I’ve never heard other people talk about it like this — they had a child and then everything was all right and happened of its own accord — but with me it’s not like that. What surprises me most is that such a tiny baby already has its own personality, in the face of which you’re utterly powerless. He can sometimes look at me as if he wants to say: what are you actually doing to me — I know much more about things than you do — they’re the eyes of a grown-up, and then with a great deal of expression — could he have the makings of a philosopher?
He doesn’t leave his mother much free time at all, but I did escape briefly for the opening of the Independents to see your paintings hanging — there was a bench just in front, and while Theo talked to all sorts of people I spent a quarter of an hour enjoying the wonderful coolness and freshness of the undergrowth — it’s as if I know that little spot and have often been there — I love it so much.
It’s like summer here — indescribably hot and I think with dread of the hot days still to come — it sounds a bit like sacrilege — with that first delicate tender green on the trees now, but after all I like the winter much better.
I must make haste to end my letter because Theo’s waiting for it. With best wishes