It’s 9:14 a.m. I sit on our back patio with my second cup of coffee. I’m still in my pajamas … our new normal. From inside, I hear the Full House theme song again. Their 3rd episode this morning. I throw a tennis ball for Emmie. The air is crisp and cool … just the way I like it. The stifling heat is not yet here.

I watch the leaves dance in the breeze. My fingers grow cold. This morning I’m not thinking about what we’re missing. I close my eyes and let the morning sun warm my skin and feel the soft glow of hope on my cheeks. There are a lot of tender moments to be found amidst the turmoil.

There was a time when my Noah was little – when I knew, without a doubt, that I was his whole entire world. That boy. He lit my heart on fire. As he grew, as his sister needed me more, as he made friends, as he started school, as he discovered sports … my role changed and evolved. I wasn’t replaced. I couldn’t be. But, his world grew. I was HOME, but he knew he was safe to venture away. It was as it is supposed to be. But, sometimes, after a long day apart, I’d look at my sleeping boy and miss his littleness in ways that made my heart ache. Memories seeped through me … molding, cracking, shaping my heart in new ways. I missed him!

He’s only 9 and still so little and innocent in the best ways. I know I will lose more of him as the years pass. But, I will have this time. This strange, hard, sweet season, when my little boy became all mine again. When our days were spent fully together. Our family of four … plus our pup.  But, Ryan. Ryan has his work – consuming his day and thoughts. And, Audrey. Audrey has Audrey’s world (and she’s a whole other article, my sweet girl). Noah and I – we have each other. We’ve latched on, finding an easy, familiar flow. But, a fresh spark to our friendship. We talk about ideas and plans and designs and we sketch and draw and we walk and we talk and we workout and we play basketball. And, yes, there are two other people who share our home and our days and my heart yearns for more of them. But, in Noah, I’ve found connection and sanity. My peace. A bright joy walking through my world, hugging me when I need it, telling me I’m beautiful when I can’t see it, saying things like, “You’re the best Mommy. There could never be a better Mommy.” Oh, my soul. He may never know the ways in which he saves me.

I had hoped and prayed that all of this time together would bond him to his sister. That their friendship would deepen and grow. And, in some ways it has. But, what I didn’t know to hope for, what I didn’t expect – was the sweetest gift of all. My sweet, little Noah. Back for a moment in time – a time when the world stood still. My bestest buddy. My silver lining. I will savor it. I will think back on it and see it for what it is – a gift. Pure and true.

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