I am your parent; you are my child. I am your quiet place; you are my wild.
I am your calm face; you are my giggle. I am your wait; you are my wiggle.
I am your carriage ride; you are my king. I am your push; you are my swing.
I am your audience; you are my clown. I am your London Bridge; you are my falling down.
I am your carrot stick; you are my licorice. I am your dandelion; you are my first wish.
I am your water wings; you are my deep. I am your open arms; you are my running leap.
I am your way home; you are my new path. I am your dry towel; you are my wet bath.
I am your dinner; you are my chocolate cake. I am your bedtime; you are my wide awake.
I am your finish line; you are my race. I am your praying hands; you are my saving grace.
I am your favorite book; you are my new lines. I am your night light; you are my sunshine.
I am your lullabye; you are my peekaboo. I am your goodnight kiss; you are my I love you.
I remember once when I was in college my sister and her children came for a visit. It was a crisp fall weekend and the Hudson Valley was ablaze with color, so naturally we decided to go do what New Yorkers do at that time of year: go apple picking. We were out at a local orchard, bundled in thick sweaters, and sitting in the sunshine eating cider donuts when a dad walked by with a little boy snuggled against his chest in a baby carrier. There was something about the man’s face that caught my eye. His light hair, blue eyes, and dimples reminded me of an older version of a guy I’d dated on and off since high school; my heart stung with the thought of missing him.
We’d grown up in the same town, but we were both away at college: he in Binghamton, I in New Paltz; the distance between us made maintaining a relationship difficult, and the thought that he’d be a part of my life in any far off future seemed silly and childishly hopeful. We were both so young. Everyone says young love never lasts. And yet, as I watched this random stranger walk past and reach down to kiss the crown of his little boy’s head, my heart skipped a beat. I pictured the guy I loved from back home all grown up, carrying his own little man in a baby carrier across his chest. I imagined the amazing father I was certain he would one day be, and my heart actually skipped a beat. And then it sunk like lead to the pit of my chest as the realistic voice inside my head reminded me that in that distant future I imagined, he’d likely one day be a stranger in my life, a father to some other lucky lady’s boy.
On January 3, 2015, my dear, sweet Covyn Christopher was borne forth into the world. As he wailed loudly and then nestled against my bare skin, all I could do was look from him to my husband, Martyn, and back to him again. I was filled with boundless love, not only for my brand new baby boy, but also for the light haired, blue-eyed, dimple-cheeked daddy of his who had come through this journey beside me – the man I’d fallen for in high school, the man I’d dreamt about that day at the orchard, the man who was now the father of our beautiful son. How freakin’ lucky can one girl get? I marveled at the life before me and cried as I handed Covyn to his daddy and watched their eyes meet each other’s gaze. Cheesy, I know, but it was honestly a dream come true.
Every day since Cove’s birth continues to be filled with that same wonderment. Marty and I have spent endless hours together staring at his tiny features; adoring his every sneeze, yawn, and smile; imagining who he’ll be as he grows up, and who we’ll be, too.
When we were expecting, my mom gave Marty a book to read to Covyn. It’s called You are My I Love You (the words are written above) and every time I read it, it fills me with so much joy I cry. Cove is our sunshine, our new path, our wild. And he is for certain the embodiment of mine and Marty’s “I love you.”
Above photos courtesy of our amazing doula, Becky Edvalson.
Snuggled in a bonnet and blanket crocheted by my mom, which my three siblings and I were all brought home from the hospital in when we were born.
Snuggling up on my wedding dress, which is nestled in his Great Great Grammy Wright’s laundry basket.
A tiring photo session comes to an end.