You’ll never know, dear.

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.

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Today, I leave, blessed by the lives of 3 beautiful young ladies, each holding my heart in their own unique way:

Ruthie,

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.

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Vivian,

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.

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Frances,

Your smile lights up the world, it’s contagious.

It reminds ME to keep smiling no matter how difficult life can get.

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I love each of you,

more than you will ever know.

And I will keep you in my heart.

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xoxo,

Monica

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