The first time I saw him I knew. We'd known each other before.
I'm serious. There was something in his eyes that said, "It's so good to see you again. Please pick me up and hug me, because I've missed our times together and I love you too."
The following days and weeks proved that to be true, as I became his once-a-week babysitter, and that time provided unforgettable experiences for both of us.
... He, snuggled up in my arms and drifting off to sleep (both of us) as I hummed a lullaby.
... Singing "Deck the Halls" together. His part? "la, la, la, la, la (pause) la-la, la, la!"
... The first time he lit up and said, "Nana," "Nannie," "Nan," and most recently "Nanner."
... Made up stories that he helped to tell, that starred me and him on trips to the moon, and adventures in the dark, dark, forest while we listened to growling bears, and the "morning owls," he called them.
... He, sitting IN the drawer where his toys were to play.
... Washing his dishes while he wore Nan's (and his) favorite apron.
... Using his new little chair to climb up to the cookie jar.
... Trips to the park in the stroller, even in the rain.
... Blowing bubbles in the backyard and making fabulous chalk drawings on the driveway ... the house... and once in awhile, the front door.
... The look on his face when he rode his tiny bike for the first time without training wheels.
... Beyond his age understanding and his sweet comforting words "Don't be sad Nannie. Be happy!"
... His phone calls inviting me to come and play ... "right now. OK?"
... His shared "when I grow up wishes" that include a house in a tree with a ladder for Nan to climb up, no potties and with the No. 1 rule being "Kids CAN jump on the furniture.
"Happy, Happy Birthday 'B'. You are much loved and cherished!
♦ Hope you'll let me share your stories and photos here at my new residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at email@example.com.