waiting

the christmas tree that made it

Today I took down our Christmas tree, it finally died. It’s March 12. It’s been standing in our living room for one hundred and fourteen days.

When his brother and his daddy and I picked out our tree the weekend of Thanksgiving I don’t remember thinking it would still be up when Tal came home. Mostly I was trying very hard to be present to the fact that our oldest was home. That all the longing and dreaming of “next year our family will be together” from the year before was now true. Except it wasn’t. We had our first baby but were now missing our second. Two Christmases with such similar longings.

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But then the tree kept living. We got home from our Christmas trip to CO for two weeks and it was still going strong. And then we thought Tal might be home in Jan and I thought – maybe it will make it. Maybe he’ll get to see his first Christmas tree. And then Jan was gone and Feb was here, and the tree kept on going strong. A few ornaments bit the dust, but the tree itself seemed reluctant to give up its needles. Like it too wanted our baby home.

I don’t remember when exactly I pretty much gave up hope. I remember posting about it on an online group. And some people said they thought it could make it. And a new friend stopped by with treats and a visit just when I needed it and she said she thought it could make it. So I started to hope again. Hope is a crazy thing.DSC_1234

Then I met my youngest. And on Thursday his Daddy, his brother, his grandparents, and I flew into Seattle. We drove home from the airport, walked through the door as a family of four for the first time, and I curled up on the couch with Tal in my arms. His big brother turned on the Christmas tree lights. Tal’s eyes got big, he laid his head against my chest and we sat there snuggled up together. And he fell asleep. He fell asleep in the glow of the lights of the tree from his first Christmas. It made it. We made it.

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{{I don’t have pictures of that first night beside the tree.  But Friday night when he woke up in the middle of the night and his jetleg wouldn’t let him got back to sleep his daddy and I spent some more time with him in its glow and I took a few pictures to remember the tree that made it, and the baby boy who loved it.}}

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