Tonight Staley is having another sleep-over with her Bradford cousins at their house. A text with a picture of the 3 girls, freshly bathed, showing off their newly painted fingernails assured me that she is having a fabulous time. But a night at home with only one little girl just felt strange.
It was only a little over 18 months ago that this was our normal. Three people at the dinner table. Two on one attention for our little girl. Only one child to help at dinner time. Only one child to get ready for bed. Only one child to read to, sing to, pray with, and kiss goodnight. It really wasn't that long ago that this was our normal. Relatively calm. Relatively quiet. Relatively drama free. (This is Adelie we're talking about, so it wasn't entirely calm, quiet, and drama free.) But not so long ago, we had two adults who only had to take care of one child.
As Zach lingered in the doorway of Adelie's bedroom while I put on her pajamas, not quite sure what to do with himself, we reflected on how things have changed. How did we ever think that life was busy before? Instead of an all-hands-on-deck approach to bedtime with a flurry of pajamas and potty time and tooth brushing and songs and books and prayers, we just took turns calmly walking through each of Adelie's bedtime rituals with her. Once in bed and immediately asleep, the house just seemed eerily quiet as usually Staley still has a little talking or singing or requests to get out of her system before she falls asleep.
Now that our life is filled with two, a night with one just seems odd. Easy. Calm. Quiet. And special to have that time solely focused on Adelie. But still odd. We have gotten so used to our life with two that it's hard to remember when every night was centered around one child. And I'm sure that as we grow accustomed to three, we'll look back on these nights with two and reflect on how odd a night with two will seem. How easy and calm and quiet life with two can be. I know that another child will bring more work. More mess. More noise. More chaos. More bedtime busyness. But also more laughter. More playing. More good night kisses. More good night hugs. More love. And we may relish the calm and quiet of a night with just one or two. But we'll never, not for one second, regret our life with three.