In the evenings we have a pretty good routine working for us these days. After dinner you and I play. We juggle wooden blocks and we’re learning to put shapes in the box. We've worked on this for a few months. Momma was the first to get you to put a shape in the right hole. Your favorite is the blue circle and you can get it in the hole about half the time. We also read books, lots of books. Your favorite books right now are The Wiggle Waggle Lion (we always make his ears go wiggle waggle, then touch his nose before reading the book), Snuggle Puppy and Am I a Cow? You also love the Mickey Mouse books. You’ve recognized the Hot Digity Dog song since you were a few months old and it always makes you smile. After play time it’s bath time. Momma has been studying for her nursing finals so I’ve been doing bath time these past few weeks, though sometimes if you’re too tired you need momma with us for bath time too. Your bath toys are the classic little yellow rubber ducky, and two Thomas the Train squeeze toys, but you prefer to try to stand up and get the big people shampoo. After bath time we divide and conquer. I dry your hair and put lotion on you while momma gets a bottle ready and gets you dressed in your PJs. You have a favorite green blanket that was homemade by one of your mom’s friends in nursing school. You let us know when you’re sleepy by pulling the blanket out on the floor and laying your head down on it. Then it’s into daddy’s lap, one or two more books and it’s sleepy nite nite time.
Rocking you to sleep is the most peaceful and wonderful times of my day. It’s then that I put everything else out of my mind and spend a few minutes thanking God for my family and all the blessings in my life. I watch your little eyes grow heavy, then flutter shut. I watch your chest rise and fall as your breath evens out and I know you’re settling into sleep. I ponder the miracle of life and love and am constantly in awe of the power children have to fill us with joy, fear, excitement, anxiety and hope all in the same instant, the same little breath. Someday son, when you read this, I want you to remember that every moment, every second, every little breath in life is a gift. Be a man who takes nothing for granted. Be a man who strives always to see the good in things and in people. Be a man who cherishes those who cherish you and, most of all son, be a man who loves unconditionally. Give of yourself, ask nothing in return and you will be rewarded a thousand times over.
Sleep good son – Daddy.