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August 21, 2014

Dear Max,

I have been your nanny for a year and a half now, and you have filled that time with so much joy and love, more joy and love than I ever thought I could give or receive. I have written many letters to you in my head over this year and a half, but now I think it's time to put one down in writing, the best way I know how.

I can't be your nanny forever, though I wish I could. But I promise you, I will always be in your life. For trick or treating adventures, birthday parties, your big school events, even the little stuff. Especially the little stuff. You are my little man, my best friend, my dude, and my favorite cuddle bug. I could never leave that behind, never in a million years. 

The other night I put you to bed while mommy and daddy were out, which is my favorite thing to do. During the day we play and run and dress-up, but at night you are quiet, thoughtful, and more loving than I ever see during the light hours of the day. As the day unwinds, you become a softer, more tender boy, and it's my favorite time to spend with you.

We colored pictures of Mickey and played with stickers, we ate dinner side by side and talked about what it means to be someone's BFF, and how you want me to teach you to eat with chopsticks. You are such a different boy than you were a year and a half ago, so much bigger and wiser, but still that same inquisitive child who wants to know everything about everything, and fast. 

When we went up to bed you chose to read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, which is one of my favorites. We read it many times when I was teaching you your alphabet before your second birthday, just as my mom had done with me when I was little. We read through the whole thing, me speaking the words and you pointing out all of the lowercase letters on the pages. Then we reached the final page, the full alphabet in capitals and lowercase and you started singing the ABCs. I've heard you do this countless times, sometimes correctly, sometimes jumbled, like when you first learned and you just could not get that "L M N O P" part down. But this time was different. You sang it with a smile, in your sweet little voice, and me, well I just stared at your round cheeks and long eyelashes and beamed with pride at the little boy you have become right before my eyes. 

Holding back tears, I told you that that was simply the best you've ever sang your alphabet, and that yes, next time I will sing with you. We cuddled and you draped your arm over my neck like you always do before nap time, and I squeezed you back as hard as I could.

I have so much love for you, sweet boy. So much love that I can't really even comprehend it. I have been thinking about how hard it is going to be to not be with you every day, but this night was what I needed to calm my anxious mind. As I left your room and said goodnight, my "I love you" sitting on the tip of my tongue as I turned out the light, you whispered, "I love you so much, Alessia". It was all I could do to get the words out of my mouth to tell you that I love you back before crying my way down the stairs. I've heard you say those words to me a million times over, sometimes through giggles when I tickle them out of you, but tonight was different. You expressing your love without having a prompt put all of my worries to the side. 

No matter who comes into your life next, no one can take away our special bond. You are my little man and I am your Alessia, and that is how it will be forever. 

Yours always,
Your Alessia

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