tonight, i am experiencing a hint of what it must feel like to have your house become an empty nest. of course, i don't yet have kids, so i can't say i really know, but for the last 6 days and nights this house (my parents' house) has been filled with the sounds of my favorite 3 and a half year old little girl.
for 6 sun-ups and 6 sun-downs, we have laughed and played, sang and read books, baked and chit-chatted, me and my niece. and this evening... she left. i sit here in the house - that last night was bustling with 9 of us opening gifts, playing cards, eating "happy birthday baby Jesus" cake - and tonight i grieve the fact that it feels so empty. i mean, i like my brothers, their girlfriends and my cousin an awful lot, but they are not why this house and my heart feel empty. the void is my girl. amazing that 4 christmases ago she didn't exist and now she occupies such a large place in my heart. as she and her 2 best friends (her daddy and her doggy) pulled away tonight, my parents and i waved goodbye through tears. it doesn't get any easier...
so now, i sit here on christmas night - not a creature stirring - and wish so badly that my heart could feel as full as it's felt for the last 6 days. i want her back. it's selfish, i know, because her mommy's missed her i'm sure, but i want her back.
i am grateful for the time i had with her this week as it's more than i normally get when i come back to texas, but i hate this part. i think about this night years and years ago when mary gave birth to Jesus. she did so knowing full well that she'd have to let him go and be with his Father, and i'm certain she had the same type of sentiment... i hate this part. but "this part" doesn't strip me of the joy we've had the last 6 days and those are the memories that i will choose to celebrate through the tears tonight. merry christmas y'all.