Do you remember the night we all got out of the house and ran to the park to play for 5 minutes before it rained? Maybe it wasn’t a big deal to you—just one of a hundred times you’ve climbed any number of trees this summer—but it was a big deal to me. It was a big deal because I was there. Someday I hope you’ll understand why this summer was so different; why your grandmas took turns taking you to their houses every day while Mom stayed home with your sister. Why I missed the first time you rode your bike without training wheels and the Fourth of July program you were in with your cousins. Why I couldn’t join you on your hikes or your picnics or your trips to the splash pad. I hope you know how much I’ve missed you. And that even though I have seemed like a grumpy, exhausted, mostly absent mom, I have loved the texts about funny things you’ve said, and the videos I have received of all your adventures. I hope you know that every day when you walked out the door hollering, “Bye, Mom! Hope you have a fun time, Mom! Miss you a lot, Mom!” my heart went with you, and that every time you gave me a kiss and a hug before bed I savored it more than I can ever say. I hope you know that this summer apart has highlighted just how precious these fleeting days with you are, and how much I long and plan to be there for every future one of them we have left.