The house is quiet. As I look around I see remnants of Christmas. Scattered boxes, wrapping paper and a few toys that didn't get picked up. The tree is still up and lights our dark living room. A stocking full of Santa's delivered loot is hung with two wrapped presents nearby, temporarily untouched.
Spencer will be home in six days. The stocking will be dumped and the presents from Santa will be ripped open in a flurry of excitement. The decorations will be taken off the tree before it is removed from the house. The boxes and paper will be thrown away and the toys put in their place. The house will be bustling with activity again.
These last six months I have tried really hard to not allow myself to dwell on what I would be missing out on with Palmer. I have allowed myself only two 'indulgences' of sorts. Both of my boys would have been six months old at Christmas so I often use Spencer's milestones to indicate what Palmer would be doing about now. My first indulgence is wondering if Palmer would be crawling. Spencer crawled for the first time on Christmas eve. My second is an image I have of Spencer sitting under the tree with Scott getting ready to open a present. From birth pictures, my boys look so much alike. I can only imagine that being Palmer under the tree. I had been relying on my memory until finding this picture on Christmas day.
As I sit here tonight in the dark, I can only count my blessings. I was blessed to view Christmas through Spencer's eyes. I watched his excitement as he opened his presents, played with his new toys and tried on his new jammies and Agent P slippers. I watched his eyes light up as Scott and I opened our presents that he picked out all on his own. If we didn't have Spencer I can only imagine what this holiday would have been like. As I sit here in the quiet, reality is rearing its ugly head. I can only think of the other moms and dads who spent their Christmas in a quiet house. No frenzied excitement. No wrapping paper strewn about. No toys to step on or pick up. Just deafening, painful silence.