I cried tonight.
I don't often allow myself the luxury of tears. I think I'm scared that if I start, I won't be able to stop. Yet as I sifted through Annika's clothes, sorting out the tiniest to put away, my cheeks grew damp.
She's growing up too soon. I keep telling everyone that she's two and a half months old, but the truth is that she'll be three months the day after tomorrow. I cringe inside every time someone says, "Oh, she's getting so big!" Don't they know she's still tiny? Can't they read her onesie that announces "Just Arrived"? Wasn't it just yesterday that she was born, in that very spot?
I always feel melancholy packing up baby clothes. Babies just grow so darn fast! I sigh as I carefully fold darling outfits that I never shot a photo of, deeply regretting those few items that never were worn at all. This time, however, was particularly hard. Hard, because Annika is likely our final babe, and even harder because Jason isn't here to watch her grow day by day. How I wish that I could press the "pause" button until he comes home!
Difficult as such moments may be, I feel so very grateful that our situation is temporary. Life is uncertain, and I've been reminded lately that many must endure much longer and more painful separations. The husband of a teacher at Dixie Sun unexpectedly passed away this last week after undergoing knee surgery for an injury sustained playing church basketball. His wife is now on her own with five young children. My heart just breaks for this family. I hope that with time they can find comfort in the realization that in an eternal scheme, even their separation will be short.
On a more positive note, Jason and I will be reunited extremely soon. A week from today Annika and I are going out to NY to visit. :) In fact, I was able to extend my trip by a couple of days to give us an entire weekend together by coughing up a whopping three dollars. Hooray for Southwest Airlines, and an especially big hooray for Grandma Susie and Grandpa Charles who so generously (and courageously) offered to watch the rest of the munchkins for as long as we wanted.
With so many tender mercies, I'll dry my tears and feel thankful for my blessings instead.