And then there were four.

I can’t stop looking at them.

They are so tall.  Their voices are so much deeper.  They have made plans and schemes since June and they are eager to share them with me.

Emma leapt into my arms, buried her head in my neck, and cried when she saw me.  Not a big, sobbing cry; just tiny tears that squeezed out of her because the mixture of emotions – of finally! and leftover longing and love you don’t know what to do with – was too much to hold inside those little bitty eyes.

I get it.

And no, she didn’t say that.  But our hearts, hers and mine, they speak a language that no one else can hear.  And mine whispered back through its own tiny tears, “me too”.

Devin did not have tears.  Devin barely held still long enough to be squeezed.  Devin, I swear, puffed up his chest to show me just how big he was now.  Surely that’s it, because a ten year old boy should not be broader in his chest and shoulders than he was a few months ago, right?  I mean, he’s still just ten.

And then he proceeded to explain to his sister that she wasn’t doing the light saber fighting right.

Ah, yes.  Still just ten.

The house is alive again this morning.  There are more TVs on than there are people here, and I didn’t even realize how much I missed that damn SpongeBob song.  The constant percussion of something being dropped and doors being slammed are markedly not mixed with the sounds of chairs being pushed back in and dishes being put in the sink or dishwasher.

We haven’t, any of us, unpacked a stitch of clothing – but there are 13 toys scattered about the living room.

Jared and I had so, so much fun together this summer.  We called it our “second honeymoon”, and the reality is that it blew our first honeymoon out of the water.  We spent more time together, just the two of us, than we ever have.  Ever.  Because we went right from being someone’s child to being someone’s parent.  We’ve never been married without children, and for a few weeks it was fun to get to know each other in that way.  More than fun.  We are, both of us, thrilled and grateful to have had this time.

But we are, both of us, so damn relieved to be four again.

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