As a live in nanny for my beautiful girls, it is not unknown for me to put them to bed at night.
When I am there for bedtime, I make sure they take baths, comb hair, get jammies on, and read a bedtime story.
Most of the time they are playing a game called “stall bedtime for as long as possible”–by asking for drinks of water, or saying they need to potty again.
Sometimes, I just don’t have the patience for it at all.
I’m ready for them to be asleep.
I have other things to do and finish before I go to bed as well.
But lately, they’ve been asking me another question. They want to know if I will sing them a lullaby.
(I like to think that it’s because they have a genuine love for the sound of my voice, but sometimes it’s hard to tell.)
When they ask me to sing for them, my heart melts. I calm down and look into their big, round eyes, glowing from the light that peeks in from under the door.
I can’t say no.
I’m not versed in many lullabies–but I do know one:
You are my sunshine
My only sunshine
You make me happy
When skies are gray
You’ll never know, dear
How much I love you
Please don’t take my sunshine away
They will never know how much I love them.
That my love for them is more than just a habitual phrase, or a cliche, that I say to them every day.
It is a physical and overwhelming ache in my heart that I feel, now, as I write this.
It’s a tear rolling down my cheek at the thought of not seeing them every single day.
It’s a smile on my face knowing that they will grow up to be intelligent, creative, and talented young women–each in their own way.
Four years ago, I showed up at this house expecting not much more than a job and a paycheck.
What I received was so much more than that.
It was a profound and amazing privilege, that has made me a better person.
I can’t stress this enough:
I AM A BETTER PERSON for having had them in my life.
Today, I leave, blessed by the lives of 3 beautiful young ladies, each holding my heart in their own unique way:
Your empathy for others inspires me to humble myself and to always be kind to everyone who comes into my life–to show them true charity.
Your stubborn fearlessness reminds me to have the courage to stand my ground and fight for what I believe in, despite what the world tells me.
Your smile lights up the world, it’s contagious.
It reminds ME to keep smiling no matter how difficult life can get.
I love each of you,
more than you will ever know.
And I will keep you in my heart.