Tuesday, February 16, 2016

New Couch, Same Story

As I write this, Michelle sits on the couch behind me singing "Pomegranates" with Dylan and Ryder, a part of her nightly "songs and prayers" ritual with her kids.  She's sick as a dog with some sort of viral gunk Ryder brought home last week that's now passing through our joint families, so her initial rendition of "Book of Mormon Stories" was hoarse enough to incite Ryder's laughter.  His sweet, "Again, Mom?" was met with Michelle's admittance that she might not have one more in her tonight.  That was, at least, until Dylan requested "Popcorn... no... actually... Pomegranates."

These are the sorts of things you get to hear when the lines between two families are sometimes fuzzy and sometimes completely invisible.

It's been 16 days since Skye texted me and asked if he and Michelle could talk to us.  I'd already heard a couple of rumors and burst immediately into tears.  Even somewhat expected, their announcement that they were moving back to Idaho was nothing short of devastating.  But the extensive and specific list of things that I will miss when they move is a post for another day, because right now I am in the calm eye of the hurricane, a beautiful oasis in which I get to sit down to dinner with my nine-person household and be greeted after a long day at work by Ryder's "Hi, Nana!"  And since the Davises will be living with us until their actual move in a few months (their mean landlords are selling the house out from under them), that's where I am choosing to stay.

Timehop greeted me today with some pretty happy memories from two years ago when we found ourselves similarly as nine people under one roof.  With all the major life changes that have happened between 2014 and 2016, it was crazy to realize how much has stayed the same.  And Dylan and Ryder were more than happy to help me prove it.



Yes, today's picture is taken on a couch I didn't own two years ago in a house that wasn't done yet.  Yes, today's is totally contrived (though they were both already on the couch, watching a dog show with Michelle).  But the genuine smiles on Ryder's face whenever he sees his cousins?  The raw happiness I feel when I see Michelle's car in the driveway and the stress that melts away when I get frequent Scarlett and Ryder hugs?  The gratitude I feel for the knowledge that I know that right now I am in the middle of something special?  All real.


And how lucky I am to know that "goodbye" won't really be a goodbye at all.

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