We left at 8:00 p.m. and I drove until around 1:00 a.m. The first thing that did not go according to plan was that the children did not sleep right away all snuggled up in their blankets and jammies. Instead, they were wide awake with excitement until about midnight. That was a big problem because Kira needed to be sleeping so that she could take over the operation of keeping our several-hundred-pound vehicle on the road while traveling at 70 mph. Instead, she was busy handing out snacks; informing the children that no, we were not almost there; and all the other things it takes to occupy such young minds when they are forced to hold still for any amount of time.
|Picture of Avey Next to Merritt. Virtually Indistinguishable|
|Carver, Who Refused a Nap Just 30 Minutes Before This Photo|
|Hakan as The Angel|
By the time it was over our boys were exhausted, Avey and Kira had not eaten a thing, and we had but 30 minutes to get ourselves dressed for a choir performance at church. Hakan was the most defiant I have ever seen, kicking and screaming so that he had to finally be forced into his clothes, after which he kicked off his shoes and socks so that we had to take him in the car barefooted. It came as little surprise when he fell asleep in his aunt's arms during the service. Carver, too, zonked out right there on the pew in the front row. Even little Merritt, after giving the ever-patient Avey a run for her money, passed out among the forte of the choir and organ.
It seems this year the gift we need more than anything is some uninterrupted sleep. Still, we would give up a few more hours if it meant that much more time among our beloved families. We are so lucky to come from such wonderful families, where we know that we are welcome and loved. As we charge into 2017 with full fury, we reflect on our fortunate circumstances and all of the joy that surrounds us, even when it is sometimes hard to see for all the poopy diapers and screaming. I, for one, would not trade it for the world.