Today was a sad day. The wonderful, nearly month-long visit of my brother and his family came to an end. Cameron, Delia, Caleb, and Delia are somewhere over the Pacific Ocean right now (assuming I'm calculating right). Either way, they are on the plane to Narita, Japan. After that, they'll board the flight to Singapore. On the happy front, I realized I have enough frequent flier miles for a free flight over there, so I'll most likely be going relatively soon (within the next year).
While I'll miss all 4 greatly, it's especially hard to see the boys leave. They change so much between visits! I have decided it would be therapuetic to write them letters. Letters that at 3 1/2 and 17 months, they cannot read. But that's okay. Maybe one day they will!
My dear, dear, dear nephew..... where do I even start? You have been so special to me since the moment you were born! Even before your birth, I suppose. And now, as a 3 year old, you bring me so much joy. You are so full of life and so full of love. The way you looked at me today and without any sort of prompting said "Aunt Deanna, I'm going to miss you" nearly broke my heart! When I replied "I'll miss you too," it may have been the understatement of the century!
The way you always ran to me when I came over to Grandma and Grandpa's warmed my heart. The stories you would tell, the funny things you would say, the way you would just sit in my lap and cuddle - I have many priceless memories. From fishbumps to yarn, there are so many things that make you so "spectacular" (one of your special words).
Even how forgiving you are at such a young age shows your tender heart. When I accidentally hurt your head last week, and yet for comfort you decided you wanted me to cuddle you was so sweet. You knew I didn't mean to hurt you, and you still came with your love for me. You are also so sweet and grateful for the things people give you; you remember to say "thank you" and truly mean it.
Playing playdough with you is such an experience. You are so extremely creative! A simple piece of red playdough in your hands can be just about anything. And you are so good at puzzles! I was amazed at how quickly you put the Toy Story puzzle together yesterday!
Caleb, you are without question the most intelligent 3 year old I have ever been around. It's not just because I'm your aunt - the words you know, the words you can read, and even how you carry a thought when I ask for a story.
But most importantly of all, you love Jesus! At such a young age, you always ask for Jesus stories. When I ask you to pray, you pray. You want to sing songs about Jesus and to Jesus. Jesus loves you so much, Caleb, and it makes me so happy that you love Him too!
I will miss you, my sweet, sweet boy. I cherish every moment we spent together and all the memories we made!
My sweet baby - I love you so much. You changed so much is the so short time that you were here. Your wonderful smile, though hard to capture on camera, is truly captivating. Your playfulness is so much fun.
You certainly have personality - the more I was with you, the more it came out. From clapping for ice cream to giggling as I threw you high and pretended to drop you, you and your sweet smile brought so much joy to the visit. Your smile that you gave on command was so cute as well!
Even before this week when you suddenly started talking so much, your communication style was clear. From waving your hand when you saw a lemon (other than the first two times) to your adorable "ple" with hand to the chest when you wanted something to the almost incessant requests for "Bob," it was not often in doubt what you wanted. Often what you wanted was more food. Feeding you ice cream at McDonalds was quite the sticky experience for both of us!
You liked playing outside so much this trip - sidewalk chalk, bubbles, or just walking around. You seemed to enjoy every minute of it - and I enjoyed every minute of sharing it with you!
You also, like your brother, have a deep love for playdough! Any time I would say, no matter what you both were doing or even if you weren't in the greatest of moods, "Want to go play playdough with Aunt Deanna" you always got excited.
Your adorable chubby cheeks are sooooo kissable! Thanks for indulging me in giving them thousands of kisses! You tolerated all of those well. And your belly was always so tickle-able! Your laughter was contagious!
My sweet, sweet baby - I love you and look forward to watching you grow, both from a distance and on visits. Maybe I will be with you for your next birthday!
P.S. I know you didn't think the lemon trick was as funny as I did, but.....