Dear Zachary Alan,
When I think about my time with you, those two weeks in Cambodia, the word that comes to mind is joy. You brought me so much joy, sweet boy, and I am so thankful.
I woke up in the mornings to your eager smile, ready to play, to read, to draw sea weed or make turtles or snakes out of play dough. Your request for breakfast was usually eggs or yogurt, and you always wanted milk (at any time of the day). At about seven o’clock, you would hear the house helper/adoring book reader/playmate come up the steps and your little feet would stomp across the floor, saying “ming nah!!!!” with so much excitement.
Thank you for letting me read to you about carrot stew, for asking me to sing the happy birthday song a hundred times, for letting me change the lyrics to “This Little Light of Mine” (hide it under a tuk tuk? NO! I’m gonna let it shine).
Thank you for holding my hand.
I’m grateful that in two weeks, I learned so much about you — about your daily rhythms and what time of day you are the most awake and when you are the most moody. I learned the names of your traveling animal companions and how much you love to throw rocks into rivers. I got to see your perceptiveness — the way your face lit up when I laughed really hard at a story that Scott told, or the look of concern when anyone’s voice was slightly raised.
I miss our tuk tuk rides together, the songs we sang in the car, you sitting on my lap talking over your mama saying “there’s a blue car!” or “moto mommy, moto!”. I miss watching you eat ice cream at the Blue Pumpkin and stencil drawing horses in every color in the kitchen.
Thank you for welcoming me into your world, Zachary, even for such a short period of time.