The Wife, kid and I went to Richmond to spend Christmas with my wife's family. We probably broke a land speed record or two on the way down, but were mercifally un-acosted by the state troopers of either Maryland or Virginia. Good thing, too. Fines in the commonwealth of VA are pretty steep these days.
The Kid slept in a room connected the master bedroom. My wife's parents told us that this is because it's the best place in the house for the crib. By "best place" I think her parents mean "room closest to her grandparents". In any case, the only way to get to the crib is by going through the master bedroom. A fine arrangement, if you ask me.
Ordinarily, this arrangement works swimmingly. Ordinarily.
The Kid woke up at about 5:00 am on the 24th (0500 for those of you in uniform). Not only was she awake, she was crying. A lot. With Big. Scary. Tears. Her grandparents struggled mightily (but in the end in vain) to calm the Kid for the better part of half an hour. At 5:35, we awoke to the sound of a crying child just outside our bedroom door. Dashing out of bed, we threw open the door to see the Kid in the arms of her grandmother, who was standing in the hallway. We apologized profusely, took the still-screaming child, and wend back into our room. 30 minutes (I think) of calming tones, soothing gestures, and relaxing rocking back and forth, the Kid was not crying as much.
Since we weren't going to get back to sleep, we three shuffled downstairs to the living room. I made a bottle for the Kid, and the wife fed it to her while sitting in a comfy chair near the fireplace.
Within 10 minutes, the Kid was asleep again, with her head resting on my wife's shoulder. My wife was asleep not long after that. There were my daughter and my wife, both sleeping under a blanket that I placed over them. I hadn't seen that since the Kid was 2 months old.
I toyed with the idea of grabbing the camera, but knew that no picture could capture the essence of what I saw. There were the two girls I love the most, asleep in the midst of all the Christmas finery, and the morning sun just beginning to peek through the trees. It was a moment that no words, or image could ever do justice. I'm not ashamed to admit that my eyesight was beginning to blur just a tad. Had I tried to speak, the words would have stuck in my throat.
I wanted that to last for a lifetime. It can't though, and that's what makes it special. This memory is mine. It belongs to me, I can have it whenever I want, and no one can take it away. If you ever see me and I'm obviously not paying attention, you can bet that I'm back in that living room, on December 24th 2007.