(For Abby, who is eleven months old today!)
I love you…
…the number of hours I have spent sitting in the car in the driveway or parking lot, waiting for you to finish your nap.
…the number of times I have put your books back on the bookshelf because you think it is so fun to pull them all off.
…the number of times I have told you “no” to sticking your fingers into an electrical outlet.
…the number of flakes of baby cereal that I have mopped up from the floor, extracted from between your fingers, and removed from my own hair.
…the number of times I have listened to your car mirror sing “Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush.”
…the number of rocks that I have removed from your mouth while we play at the park.
…the number of hours I’ve stayed up with you in the night–rocking and soothing you, or laying awake in my own bed letting you cry, praying I was doing the right thing.
…the number of times I’ve tiptoed into your room to make sure you were still breathing, and lingered to watch you sleep.
…the number of poopy diapers I’ve changed (and fretted over).
…the number of Dr. Peppers I have not drunk because I worried about your caffeine intake.
…the number of times we’ve played peekaboo with Paul in your favorite book.
…the number of toys you’ve ignored because you’d rather play with a plastic bottle you found in the recycling bin.
…the number of owies you’ve endured since you’ve learned to pull up.
…the number of slimy kisses you’ve planted on my face.
…the number of sermons I have not heard because you were on my lap in church.
…the number of dirt particles and bits of dried up food that you have discovered on my supposedly clean floors.