Tonight is the first D has been away in an unprecedented three-month stretch. We have grown quite used to his absences in nearly ten years of service. Being left alone with multiple children of very young ages is not new to me. But tonight I felt like it might as well be, after coming to rely so heavily on his company and help in all these many weeks. Trying to get the 7 week old and the 2 year old to sleep by myself tonight was downright ugly, as I knew it probably would be. We were all crying for a little bit there. But really, it was one bad hour and now all are sleeping peacefully. Sweet Matthew perhaps most of all, as he finally settled in his cozy bed in the kitchen, with the vent fan on for a steady hum, and next to the warm light of the Christmas tree.
Before I moved him and turned off the lights I paused, thinking how this was a scene that might never be again. The tree is dry and will likely move out this weekend, probably tomorrow. By next Christmas we will be in another house and Matthew will be far, far too big for sleeping in the rock-n-play.
I know I keep saying this but this fourth child of mine has been a constant reminder of how fleeting these baby moments are, and how important it is to carve them in my memory forever.