My dear son,

Something special happened tonight during bath time.

It was just you, me, and our puppy Remy. Daddy was at a business meeting, so when bath time rolled around, it was just us.

Bath time is usually Daddy-Raleigh time since it’s one of the few times you get to spend together on weekdays. I typically spend the beginning of bath time washing up the dinner dishes, loading and starting the dishwasher, putting away leftovers and picking up all of the toys that litter the living room after a day of playing.

But tonight, the dishes stayed in the sink, the toys stayed on the floor and I sat next to the bathtub while you splashed and played.

I usually join you, Remy and Daddy for the end of your baths and I love watching you. There’s something about a baby in a bathtub that squeezes my heart.

But tonight, I really watched you.

Tonight, I focused my entire attention on you. No thoughts of work I planned to do later. No thoughts about the chores I had yet to complete. No thoughts of anything besides my baby boy, playing in the bathtub.

As I sat on the cool tile floor, I took in the sight of you right now, at 9.5 months old. The way your hair has grown so long right in the middle of your forehead so it looks like it’s receding on the sides. The way you look as you pull yourself up to standing and then sit back down again. The way your eyes look as you intently examine the cups and toys in your hands, trying to figure out how they work.

I really noticed and saw how your eyelashes get darker when the water soaks into them. I saw the droplets of water fly from the toys you wave around and land on your head, only to roll down your forehead and onto your nose.

I watched you smile at me, showing me your teeth and your dimples.

Your new game is throwing your toys and cups off the edge of the tub onto the floor, and then whining until we pick them up and give them back to you. For a second, this annoyed me tonight. I didn’t want to play that game seven hundred times on repeat. But then, I watched you intentionally slide the cup to the edge of the tub and release your hand, sending it over the edge and onto the floor. I watched you stare over the edge at it and whine, showing your desire to have it again. And I saw your pleased face when I handed it back to you. You are discovering how this world works. You are learning.

This is the good stuff right here.

I sat cross-legged on the tile floor, with my elbows on the side of the tub and just watched. Remy frantically licked up the water droplets that rolled off your toys and down the outside of the tub.

I don’t know how long bath time lasted tonight, but you were shivering when I finally opened up the drain and let the water run out.

Tonight was a seemingly typical night in our house. It was not out of the ordinary.

And yet, it was monumental, significant.

I will never forget how you looked tonight.

I love you, baby boy.



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