A quiet settles over the house as the children are no longer with me tonight. They are back with their father for the following week. Having picked up Cinnamon and Sage from the bus stop at 3pm, I let them know we would be leaving before 6pm. They were excited to get to work on the Lego lighthouse without having to do homework first. They made some progress on the construction of the lighthouse and will no doubt complete it within a day on their return next week.
Sage plugged in the lights of the Christmas tree as he normally does every day. I told the children to enjoy the Christmas tree one last time as it would be gone by the time they returned next week. Their advent calendars would also be put away as will the plaid runner on which the calendars sat for a month. It is always sad to have to pack away the ornaments, toss the tree, and clear the home of the remaining holiday decorations.
Both of the children took turns posing in front of the tree before I photographed them together. I have held on to the remnants of the holiday season as long as I could and look forward to the next one at the end of the year. There is a long way to go until then but I am sure the next Christmas season will be quite different from this past one as all three children will be together once again.
The children were ready and sitting in the car by 17,30h with only their school backpacks with them. The goodbye was long as Sage gave me one kiss after the other along with several hugs. 'Just one more kiss' he said. I will see them soon enough, I assured them. Thursday will be Cinnamon's day with me as she wished to spend her birthday at my place. She will be in school during the day which will give me enough time to make her a birthday cake.
Tonight starts a return to an alternate schedule. The one where I am alone once again. The one without the normal routine of waking the children at 6am, getting their breakfast and lunch ready, and waiting for their return at the end of the school day. My photographs of them are all I will have to remember them by this week as I look forward to taking more photographs of them the next time they are with me. Farewell Fridays are never pleasant or easy, particularly for the children.