Before my son was born, a mother (Mrs. McGarvey) of a dear friend of mine bought bags of gifts for Caleb. Before we were even sure of his name, she had a giant plush hippo for him amongst other toys, and she got him one of the most precious books that I own for him to this day. "I Love You Through and Through" by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak. As he grew in the womb, our external circumstances were that of precarious means. Shaky waters, at best, but with a steady God.
I used to read this to him in there, wondering if he listened in utero, wondering if he'd remember (of course not). I read it to him again tonight, with the words making me a little emotional. They bring the essence out of a child. Their sounds. Their touch. Their bodies. Before he was born I read him these words and wondered about him. After he was born I read him these words and I knew him. And now I read these words still, grasping at the wonder it is for a human to be a child and to grow-sharing these traits as a collective whole. What a beautiful thing that is. We are stewards of our children, gifts God bestowed upon us. And in that, these are universal basics they all share in together, and with that. so do we.
The story goes like this:
“I love you through and through… I love your top side. I love your bottom side. I love your inside and outside. I love your happy side, your sad side, your silly side, your mad side.
I love your fingers and toes, your ears and nose. I love your hair and eyes, your giggles and cries.
I love you running and walking, silent and talking.
I love you through and through… yesterday, today and tomorrow too.”
This book continues to be very special to me. Now I know these things. I know his silly side and his mad side. I know his running and his lack of walking. And I know that even as he grew in the womb, I thought of these things. Now, over five years later, we are on the brink of starting Kindergarten.
I know it's not a huge deal for me or even us as much because he has been in school since he was eight months old. But it is another transition, and it is a big one at that! He begins Kindergarten in elementary school. What an exciting time.
I can't wait for him to begin and grow even more. I can't wait for him to experience new friends, new colors, new textures, and new experiences with this new school in our new city and his new childcare program. I can't wait. And you know what? He is MORE than ready for it.