Julia made the buckeyes by herself for the first time this year.
(I think she might have sampled a few along the way.)
Lucy was the official “turkey paster.”
Bee was a whirling dervish who insisted on wearing a fancy dress because she felt special, but refused to brush her hair or wash the chocolate off her face.
And Jack soaked up some quality time with his dad.
The kids were excited to use the “fancy” glasses at our meal, which was delicious.
After, we waddled to the living room and settled in to watch one of my all-time favorite movies – Planes, Trains and Automobiles. When it was finished, Julia said, “Hey, wait. No one move. We’re all here.”
Julia was in her dad’s lap. Lucy was in my mom’s. Bee was in my dad’s. And Jack was in mine.
“No one move. Let’s watch something else together.”
And so we did.
I have a lot to be grateful for today, but there is nothing greater than this.
Jack and I are always together, but I still make it a point to have some one-on-one time where I can focus solely on him each day. We call it Mommy-Jackson Quiet Time. (Actually, we sing it.) It happens right after dinner. The girls read – or at least they’re supposed to be reading and not wrestling – and I get Jack ready for bed. He has his bath, a massage, and a story, and then I nurse him and cuddle him to sleep. I look forward to it every day.
I don’t think it’s hard to see why.
It started with Julia on Friday night. She threw up. A lot. The next day was better. She slept for most of it, but the puking seemed to be done. So when we all woke up this morning, happy and healthy, I thought we were in the clear and decided we should try to take some pictures for our Christmas card.
This was about half an hour before it hit the rest of them.
Since then it’s been like the barf-o-rama at the pie eating contest in Stand By Me.
Dave bought this monkey for Jack the day he was born.
It sat on a shelf above his bed during his stay in the NICU and has watched over him every night since.
It happened. We saw it.
Amazing. Incredible. Life-altering? Well, I don’t know. Did I cry? Yes. Yes, I did.
After I parked the van in the pull-off spot and opened the door, I brought each of the kids out, one by one, to take a peek. Julia had seen it before she even got out. She stood quietly next to me while I snapped pictures. When I lowered my camera, she grabbed my hand and we watched in silence for a bit. Then it was Lucy’s turn. I stood her in front of me, crouched down behind her and wrapped my arms around her. I could feel her heart pounding wildly as I pointed and she whisper-shouted, “I see it! I see it there, Mom! I see it!” I helped Phoebe to see it first with my camera. I zoomed in as close as I could and asked her to point in the direction the camera was pointing, then I pulled it away. It took a few tries, but I feel confident that she saw it. Jack never even looked at the eagle. He simply studied my face as I looked, smiling and cooing at my delight.
We quietly loaded back up and reluctantly pulled away until a few feet down the road when we let loose with a whooping celebration of our sighting. We said we were lucky. We said we live in a beautiful world. We said life is good. We said we’ll never forget this.