After 2+ weeks of winter break, you kind of get used to having the kids around. When you first look at the school calendar and see that the kids are off from December 16-January 3rd, you kind of think it’s going to seem like a really, really long time to have the kids home. Couple the time off from school with our busiest time of the year as portrait photographers, and you might get a little bit anxious if you’re so inclined. But you know what, it all worked out really, really well. And guess what, winter break went quickly and as I sit here the eve before they return to school, I am actually sad.
At bedtime, the night before school was to begin again, I was laying with Gabby, combing my fingers through her hair, staring at her in the darkness. I started thinking of all these wonderful things about how happy I am to be her mother. Just how content I am to have her and her sister as my daughters and Keith has my husband. As I like to remind Keith in every card I give him, “I am STILL the luckiest woman in the whole world!” Quiet moments like this put life into perspective.
My heart hurts with how much I love this little girl that asks me every night to “snuggle” with her. The little girl (she’ll be 5 next month, so not so little, but she likes to think so) that asks me to carry her to bed like a little baby. The same little girl that reads me good night stories, that lines up her dinosaurs in what looks like a conga line almost every day, that has to sleep with an entourage of stuffed animals, that has a personality so large and bright that I just look at her and want to cry.
But Gabby’s room is just stop #1 every night.
Then there’s my beautiful 7 1/2 year old Isabella. So attached to us. Yes, it’s my fault. Letting her sleep in our bed as long as she wanted to. Finally now, she is sleeping in her own bed. But the attachment is there, she needs constant human contact. The nightly routine includes her reading, and reading and reading. Keith rubbing her back. An extra trip to the bathroom. A few trips out of the bedroom asking for hugs. Mommy rubbing her hair. Then I take a moment while running my fingers through her hair and realize how fleeting all of this is. She has grown up so quickly and still has so much more growing to do. I look down at her and remind myself to treasure all of these moments, each and every one of them.
As a kid I didn’t believe my mom when she told me that one day I will understand how much she loves me and my sister. That day came the day my first daughter was born. I get it now.
And believe it or not, Spring Break is only 8 weeks away! (and I’m looking forward to it!)
(Above picture taken of Isabella mastering the monkey bars over winter break. Keith was there to capture it with his rangefinder and black & white film, yes I did say FILM!)