He is the best cuddle partner EVER.
He gives the best kisses and hugs.
He says to me every time I see him, "You are the most beautiful girl in the world."
He loves to say to me, "I love you so much."
He cries every time I leave.
He has a smile that makes me weak at the knees.
He cracks the silliest jokes.
He dresses like a real man.
He knows how to treat a lady.
He is a hard worker and a good helper.
He is smart.
He is kind.
He is loving.
He is my 6 year old nephew and Godson, Hayden!
My best little buddy. The only guy who has ever loved me with everything he has for exactly who I am! Take notes boys. This one is pretty smooth. He's a natural.
Today is Hayden's 6th birthday, and originally I was planning on coming home for it. I feel terrible that it didn't work out, but I will be seeing him in less than three weeks, and I know we will celebrate then, too.
Here's a letter I wrote for Hayden. He's too young to really care, but maybe one day he will read it and understand just how much I love him...even though there really are not words to describe this kind of love.
February 15, 2014
WOW. You are SIX years old today. I can not believe it! Time really does fly. "It seems like just yesterday" your Mommy and Daddy rushed to the hospital 8 weeks early and gave me the scariest night of my life. Aunt Alyssa got out of the car and explained to me that you were going to be making your arrival immediately. I was terrified and so upset. I stayed home with Emma until Michele came and picked us up. She brought me to Aunt Susie's house, where Uncle Tim was waiting outside for me. He gave me a hug, told me he loved me, and said that it was going to be ok. I was so scared. Aunt Susie and I went to the hospital together, and you were born! Dr. Taymoorian came out to the waiting room and told us you were a little boy named Hayden Larimore Brendel. 3 pounds, 8.5 ounces. I can still hear his voice, and I can still remember feeling so happy that I had my first nephew. You were truly a miracle that night.
I didn't get to meet you for a while. You lived in the NICU where the nurses took good care of you. You were hooked up to all kinds of tubes and things, so when I finally met you, all I could do was touch your little finger. But you were beautiful, and so tiny and sweet. It was March 24, 2008 when I first held you. You were finally home! You were so, so small in my arms. I wore a pink jacket that day. I can still feel your tiny little hand wrapping perfectly around my finger.
You were so much fun as a growing baby. We used to make loud noises at you and you would jump and make the FUNNIEST face. I have so many videos of it. You had the most perfect button nose and big brown eyes. Such a curious little baby with the happiest face. You have always been such a handsome boy.
As a toddler, you kept us laughing. It was so cute the way you said "snow," with your little button nose all scrunched up. I called you Squishy from day one. You have just always had the best little features. I'm so in love with every bit of who you are.
You have other nicknames, too. One day when Mommy was pregnant with you, we went to J&P for lunch. She told me that she had a dream that you were born and your name was Sunny. Ever since then, we've called you Sunny. Poppy calls you "Sonny" because that was Sparky's name. Also when Mommy was pregnant with you, she wrote me a card and asked me to be your Godmother! You are my first Godchild. I am so honored and proud to be your Aunt and Godmother.
When you lived in Illinois, it was so hard to be apart, but so exciting every time we visited...especially on Christmas :) sleeping with you on Christmas Eve and seeing you so excited about Santa Claus in the morning warmed my heart like never before! I'm so glad you're back in Maryland.
Thank goodness Mommy takes so many pictures of you. You have no idea how many times a day I show you off to everyone I know. I can't get over the fact that this perfect little boy, this precious, handsome angel, is MY nephew and Godson. I am just so proud.
Now you're a big, growing boy. You're a good farmer, a good big brother, a good student, a good friend. I am so proud of who you are and everything you are becoming. Spending time with you melts my heart. I love playing trains, making homemade pizzas, reading books, and cuddling on the couch watching a movie. One day you'll be a big teenager, and you won't cuddle up to me, give me the best kiss, and say "I love you Aunt Anna, you are the most beautiful girl in the world" and actually mean it. I'm not looking forward to letting that go.
Leaving home for at least 4 years and giving up seeing you everyday and watching you grow was a huge decision for me. I hope you know how hard it is to be away from you and how terrified I am that you could forget me or forget all of the fun things I take you to do. I LOVE to take you to do fun things. I love to go to the movies with you, make gingerbread houses at your school, take you strawberry picking, take you swimming, take you to get ice cream, take you to get lunch, anything you ever want to do. It will probably come back to haunt me, but I could never say no to you. I love driving around the farm with you in the golf cart, even if I do get really nauseas going down the imbankment 100 times in a row just because you asked me to and it makes you laugh. Hearing you laugh puts a smile on my face like none other. It's the laugh of a completely happy, loving, innocent child. The sweetest sound I've ever heard.
You're the only one I can count on who will always want to snuggle with me and will never say no. You're the only one who cries every time I leave, making me feel terrible, and making me cry like a baby, too. You are the most handsome little boy in the whole world...I can't imagine how much of a heartbreaker you'll be when you're grown.
You're my dream guy! I'm not sure any guy could ever steal my heart the way you have. You are one special little person, that is for sure. I love you so much.
Happy Birthday, Hayden. You'll always be my Valentine.