Noble sits quietly sideways on my lap. I am on the couch at my parents house. All of my siblings and their families are in the house. Some are watching the World Cup. Some are making dinner. Some are playing downstairs. We are all in the house in which we grew up. It may be our last time there together as my parents prepare to sell their home of 33 years.
It is a busy place full of family and joy. Yet, in my mind I am removed for a moment. I am savoring this snuggle with Noble. It is so rare that he will sit quietly snuggling me. And this snuggle is acutely sweet. I have just returned from cousin's camp with all the 5 year old and up cousins at our cabin. I left Noble for 3 days with his Aunts Rachel and Elizabeth and Uncles Stephen and Morgan down in California while I went to be an advisor for my mom at cousin's camp.
It was difficult to leave him. I knew I would miss him. I felt the double missing of my two babies while we were apart. The sting of the short term missing enhanced the long term ache of the life long missing. I wasn't worried about my babies. I knew they were both in good hands. I just missed them.
I got great updates on Noble from the Aunts. I wish I could get as clear updates on Camille. Noble played at the beach with his cousins. Here he is on the left with Bowen and Issac.
He was so excited as Uncle Stephen and Aunt Rachel drove up our street. He knew he was coming home at last. Even without word we could see the joy in him bursting out to see his family again. He went from Mom to Dad to Sabrina to Annie to Lauren and back to Mom smiling and laughing with happiness in our reunion.
The moment gave me a glimpse of a day that will one day come when we will be reunited without our little Camille. How full and complete our joy will be to hold her again.
And so I sat savoring my snuggles with the little one who, in my arms at that moment represented both my babies. And I loved him double for both him and Camille. I am starting to see that this new phase of raising Noble as he grows older than Camille ever did will be one sweet day after another. I am appreciating each new ability more than I ever have with any other child. I can taste the salt in every sweet milestone and it heightens my joy.
Now my family has all left to go to the cabin together. My kids are back to school today. And I am nursing my sorrowful heart at the separation.