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July 25, 2013

Dear Max,

I've been your nanny for six months now, but I fell in love with you during my first day. You are such a special little boy; so smart, so handsome, and those cheeks. When your mom and dad hired me, I was ecstatic. I was worried on my first day alone with you to see just how well we would mesh and get along - I was nervous that you would miss your mom and dad too much, that you wouldn't take to me at all, that you would cry all day. And man, did you cry. For twenty minutes after your mom left. You were absolutely wailing. Wailing. It made me so upset that I couldn't console you, until finally with all other options exhausted, I turned you around from the gate at the stairs, looked you straight in those big brown eyes and said, "hey, can you show me your toys?"

It was like your original train of thought was drowned in images of all of the toys that you loved. You overwhelmingly (for both of us) started gathering your toys from around the room, and from then on we were a pair. You laughed at me when I gave your cars and figurines voices, you recited for me entire episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse before the opening theme song was finished and the episode was even announced, and the best part on that first day, was after your nap you didn't cry, you just sat on my lap on the couch and we both crossed our legs at the same time. Two peas in a pod.

I have loved watching you grow over these past six months. At the end of my week with you there's something new that wasn't there on Monday, and when I get back from the weekend there's even more. You string words together and form sentences that surprise me every day. I wish I could spend an hour in your brain and discover how you learn so quickly and how your mind works. My favorite things that you say right now are "ank you" (thank you), "wogurt miwlk" (yogurt milk), "get me down here" (in an angry voice when you want to be put down), and "whaturyou doin Alessia?" (to whatever I'm doing). But nothing compares to your small little voice saying, "I love you Alessia". It's the best thing.

I love coming to work on Monday mornings because I actually miss my job over the weekend - something not many of my friends, or anyone I know can really say. Do I like waking up at 6:30am? Not really, but once I'm up and with you, sleepiness takes a backseat. You are so full of life when I walk through the door every morning, and on days that you aren't preoccupied with the thought of yogurt milk, you run to me and give me a huge hug. And of course, when I ask for it, a big drooly kiss. I ask you for kisses all day, and because you are so little, you oblige without a second thought. I am dreading the day that you are "too old" for that. I am in denial about you growing up in general, because I just want you to be this small little man that you are now forever.
Here are a few things going on in your life right now:
1// you have almost mastered using a fork and a spoon. You have trouble turning the spoon the right way to your mouth, so yogurt and oatmeal tend to fall down the front of your shirt at every meal, but that's ok. And you've got the fork down, it's just when you're trying to get things like bananas that are kind of gooey and break apart. You haven't quite gotten the scooping motion that goes along with the forking action. You'll get there though, probably by the end of tomorrow at the rate you learn things.
2// you are obsessed with Disney's Cars. You have been since about March. You ask to watch it all day, every day, and you have about a bajillion toys that are somehow related to the movie. Your favorite character is Tow Mater, so I got you a huge stuffed Mater for your birthday this year. Whenever we go outside, or we're driving somewhere, you point out all different colored sports cars and say "Lighting McQueen!" or any type of pick-up truck is "Mater!" You're funny like that.
3// You just started camp three days a week, and it is such a big-boy step for you, but you are handling it like a champ. You tell me when I pick you up about all of the things you did, and your teachers praise you like there's no tomorrow. Everybody loves you.

I get a little upset every Monday and Wednesday morning when I drop you off, because sometimes you seem a little bit nervous about me leaving, or on the other hand, sometimes you just go straight into an activity and you barely say goodbye. I miss you for those three hours, and when I pick you up you are asleep in your carseat before we even leave the parking lot. I selfishly miss having the entire day with you, and wish that you didn't need to nap after your long morning.

We just got great news this week- that your mommy is pregnant with your little brother or sister! I am so excited for this baby to come, you have no idea. You are going to be such an amazing big brother, especially to a sister (fingers crossed), so I can't wait to meet this little one in January. By that time you'll be two and a half, and going to school five mornings a week. I'll have a lot of time with you still, but also a lot of alone time with your new baby sibling. I'm thrilled, because I'll still have a little one to hang out with while you're gone, but at the same time, part of me doesn't want to lose just the two of us. I love you and me time. We're so funny together, we know how to make each other laugh, how to make each other feel better, what games we both like to play. You're only two, but you know me so well, it feels like you're so much older. You're just beyond your years in so many ways. We are both going to love this new baby so much, but there will be a part of me that misses just you and me the way we are now.
I want to soak in the next few months I have with you before you start school and the baby comes. I want to be able to remember everything that we are as a pair. I won't be able to be your nanny forever, and it upsets me that one day, even though you'll be older, you'll love a new nanny the way you love me now. You are so young right now that even though your memory is absolutely insane, I am afraid that you'll forget me completely. And even if you don't forget me, you'll probably only remember the me that took care of both you and your brother or sister. I think about this often, and it makes me never want to leave you.

You are not a job to me, even though I leave in the morning to 'go to work' and go home at the end of the day (to walk Lucas, as you would say) like any other job operates. But this is the best job that anyone could have, and even though I know a lot of nannies, I know that I am the luckiest one. You are the most amazing kid, your parents are the best (don't ever forget that, even when you're an angsty teenager), and I just know that most other nannies only think of their job as an income that results from hanging out with a cute kid or two. I still get surprised on Thursday evenings when your dad hands me money. I forget all too often that taking care of you is how I make my living, because when I think about it, it is so absurd that your parents pay me to be with you all day. I should be paying them to thank them for sharing their phenomenal child with me.

I know I'm not your mom, but it sure does feel close to it sometimes because of the sheer amount of time we spend together doing things that moms and their sons do. I have so much love for you that it's almost painful. I know that one day I will feel the same love for my children, maybe even more so if that's even possible, but for right now you are the closest thing I've got to a kid, and I love you in that way. I love you so, so much, Max. I hope you never forget that.

Love always,

Alessia

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