I met you when you were not quite 5 years old.
Your Mom had cancer and your world was so confusing.
You relied on a yellow cup and a grilled cheese sandwich cut on the diagonal for lunch every day, to keep your world sane.
Somehow, you still knew how to smile- like this:
As your mother began her recovery, you felt safe enough to break out of your routines.
You learned that sometimes in life we crash and burn like the day you fell off your bike and scraped your nose and cried all the way back to the house.
You swore you'd never get back on that bike.
But you did.
I knew you would, but I didn't say so.
I loved sharing your 'Mohawk' stage.
I actually relished how people stared at us and thought that I must be a really bad mother to let a 10 year old go out in public like that.
I was proud of you for letting it all hang out.
And mostly proud that people thought that I was your Mom.
You were the first person who really ever told me that I was a great cook.
I love how you share my love of reality TV.
And that we have the same exact learning style, which I know because you made me take the test to prove it after you suspected it.
I think I love it most that you're totally uncoordinated and love sci-fi because those things are so opposite of me and that lets me know that I never held you back from being yourself.
What started as a 6 month stint while your family concentrated on getting your mother healthy turned into 9 years, sharing your daily life as your nanny.
When you were 14 I finally realized it was time to let go.
But my heart never really let go.
And it never will.
And every time I see you I am so grateful that you're not too big or too old to hug me and laugh with me and let me know that I am in your heart too.