We had such a lovely winter break, your sister, your brother, your father, and I. We didn’t do much. We stayed in pyjamas for hours. We read lots of books. E and I beaded bracelets and painted pictures and E rode her new bike and on Christmas Eve we stayed up late and read The Night Before Christmas, and then on Christmas morning ‘Yanta,’ as M calls him had come and there were new toys to play with and papers to roll around in and so many good things to eat and family and cuddles and a great, great deal of love. And then there were rain walks, hunting for worms, and hot chocolate with marshmallows to warm up, and movie nights, and friends, and more pyjamas. We hunkered down, barely left the neighbourhood, filled our apartment with noise, and fun, and so much love. This morning I dropped your brother off at daycare and your sister off at school and then came home to the empty apartment to get my bag and car keys so I could head off to work, too. As I shut the door, I took a last look down the hallway, empty of all the noise and fun, and a grey light filtering through the curtains from the pouring rain outside, and my stomach sank. I miss them all. I miss the weeks of being all together. And I miss you. As I closed the door, finally, and turned the key in the lock, I could feel it all starting: January, the return to our hectic routine, and more so – so much more so – the beginning again, all over again, of the end of you. It’s really January, now. The start of a new year. Another new year without you.

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