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
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]