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HELLO my name is Henry

Henry is the adorable 2-year-old boy I nanny. He loves cars, especially Lightning McQueen, firetrucks, and diggers. He has the funniest laugh out of any kid I know. His father, Aaron Vandemark, is the award-winning chef and owner of Panciuto, a fine dining Italian restaurant in Hillsborough, North Carolina, so it is no surprise that Henry eats the best meals a 2-year-old has ever been served: soft shell crab from Harper's Island, duck and sweet potato ravioli, and sauteed asparagus drizzled with olive oil. Nonetheless, like any other two-year-old, he also loves ham and cheese sandwiches, yogurt, pickles, popcorn, and chocolate.

Read more about and see more pictures of Henry after the jump...

Henry and I spend most of our time together outside learning about plants, digging for worms, going on walks, laying in the grass, playing at the park, and picking flowers and onions.

His mother, Aimee, says Henry has a "budding botany career," and it's true! With a frightening good memory, he can identify climbing ivy, lettuces, rosemary, parsley, irises, daffodils, clover, wild onions, and even forsythia, which he calls "sythia" and sometimes "sypia".

Henry and I have become good friends. It is amazing how time plays a huge role in the growth of our relationships with others. In time, we learn to trust each other. It took nearly two months for Henry to let me put him down for his naps instead of his parents or his aunt. Now, each day I'm with him, I put him down for his nap, and he calls my name when he wakes up. (My heart melts every time!)

With time, we also learn to communicate more effectively with one another and begin to recognize each others idiosyncrasies. In the beginning I needed a translator to understand Henry's pronunciations and jargon, but now I know "squeeze" means "hug," and "woo woo" means "police car." I've also learned he's tired when he plays with his hair, and it's time for a diaper change when he runs to the corner and says, "Go away!" (The smell gives it away too. Ha.)

I am thankful for the impact Henry has had on my life. Although you'd think a 26-year-old has more to teach a 2-year-old than the other way around, I've learned and am still learning a lot from this little man...like when I fall down, all I need to do is get up, dust myself off, pick up the pieces, and say, "I'm OK."

(For those wondering, I did get permission from his parents for this post.)

HELLO my name is is a feature where I introduce someone in my life whose made a big splash or a little ripple but in either case an impact.