you'll never know dear, how much I love you...


hello sunshine,

You stayed overnight at your grandparents house this weekend because your dad and I had to go photograph an out-of-town wedding. It was your first time away from us since your early stay in the hospital NICU and, if you must know, well... yes, I did get a little choked up while packing your things and sending you on your way. I might have made numerous, sighing references about "my big boy" and his "manly ways." Possibly I whispered for you not to forget me.

There may or may not have been tears. Maybe. I don't know. Who can really remember such things, anyway?

(By the by, if in your youth you are ever embarrassed by your blubbering, sentimental fool of a mother, kindly note that I was NEVER LIKE THIS until I met you, okay??)

When we returned to pick you up the next day, I fast-walked to the door with plans to pounce on you and smother you in a million kisses. But you were napping, as luck would have it. So I squashed my motherly affections and instead contented myself to watch you sleep. And as I watched you, completely and truly astounded by how much you'd GROWN and CHANGED in the mere 24 hours that I was gone, the thought bashed me over the head repeatedly occurred to me that I really need to get my act in gear and start consistently documenting our sweet days together NOW, because soon I'm going to be waving and sniffling my way out of your college dorm room or wedding reception or whatever.

So, here I am. And tonight, I just want to document one thing, one thing that I want you to know and remember.

My mom used to sing the song "You are My Sunshine" to me when I was little. Even now, all these years later, I love the melody and it makes me think of her fondly.

Every night I sing it to you before I put you down to sleep. You stare at me, watching my face intently. I stare at you, marveling at your perfectly turned nose and dimpled hands. Sometimes you reach up to grab my hair or play with my moving lips. It's adorably distracting, but I keep singing.

Those sweet moments with you bring me deep joy. You ARE the sunshine in my days and even though you can't understand it now, I hope in the days to come you'll never forget it.

[Photo by me, taken June 2009]