Today I had the tear-jerking joy of watching my children grow up before my eyes. You see, today I sat down to write our annual Christmas letter.
It's one of the few things on my to-do list I truly adore doing. (Yes I know I was supposed to give up to-do lists and focus more on relationships but this time of year that's just not gonna happen!) And so this morning I wrote out my list and started checking things off. When I finally worked my way down to the Christmas letter I felt a smile deep down in my soul. So I poured a cup of hot chocolate, put a movie on for JT and sat down at my computer fully expecting to enjoy the next hour. And oh I did!
It is my own personal tradition to re-read each of our Christmas letters from the past years before I start on the current year. I love this tradition. Every year it makes me laugh and makes me cry as I watch my kids grow up right before my eyes. And this year was no exception. I once again wept when I read the letters from the year we lost my father-in-law and then my sister-in-law two short years later. I laughed at the antics of my children reported each year. My heart swelled with pride as I read year after year of how my husband has steadily provided for us, carefully balancing a demanding job while still putting family first. It makes me smile as I realize how different and yet how similar each and every year is.
Our house is still full of children and animals and chaos, I still breathe a sigh of relief (or exhaustion, I'm not sure which) once each child is tucked into bed at night. But I am starting to see just how fast the time goes by. My children are still young but they aren't as young as they used to be just a very short time ago. As hard as it is to see them grow up I have loved watching the process. Their questions and their conversations amaze me now and I love the people they are becoming. But I do miss the little ones they used to be. And each year when I re-read the Christmas letter I get to experience it all over again.
One day the time will come when my house is quiet, too quiet. The kids will leave, the cat and the dog will pass away, the chaos will cease. I have tears in my eyes just thinking about that day. I will sit at my computer, with my cup of hot chocolate and I will read about all the fun we had year after year. And I will watch all over again, my children grow up right before my eyes.