Our Christmas tree is still standing in our living room. It is naked and dry. The ornaments are all put away and we haven’t watered it in days. I’m just waiting for Micah to help me take it out to the curb because I can’t do it by myself. Maybe I could, but I don’t want to attempt it without backup. I boxed up all the lights and decorations earlier today in an effort to remind myself that life goes on, groceries still need to be bought, rugs vacuumed, children napped. And with the holiday high waning, I, like many of you, am facing a couple of cold months with a couple of small children with little to do but wait for spring. Okay, that may be a little bit dramatic. Time will march forward and it will be spring before I know it and we will put the boots and hats and coats away and go outside without having to brace ourselves to the possibility of losing a nose to the cold. And it will be wonderful.

The boys and I have had a great couple of days. They’ve been chill, we’ve had fun, I’ve gotten down on the floor with them more than I have in a long time. We haven’t had anywhere to be and I haven’t had any reason to bundle us all up and rush out the door. It’s been nice.

Except.

Except that I know it can’t last. Next week Manchild will be back in school. We’ll be running for the bus again, searching for mittens under the couch, whining about not being able to wear a different hat. We’ll be talking about express trains and street names until I can’t take it anymore. We’ll be wishing we were inside with a cup of hot chocolate (or cold chocolate, if your mouth can’t take the heat) as we tromp through the snowbanks. And it, too, will be wonderful.

And I will continue to wonder why endings, or the prospect of endings, give me the strength to keep going but also make me want to freeze time — right here, right now — forever.

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