The weirdest part of the day was realizing that we began our lives here with her first birthday, and we are leaving on the heels of her fourth birthday. A time sandwiched between two birthdays, and filled with many more. As I clicked away at my sweet daughter, blowing out her one candle (we only had one--woops!), I recalled how I had done this three times a year--one for each child--for the last three years. Nine birthdays at this dinner table. Suddenly I was able to look at our lives here in a broader perspective. As if I were sitting at the table, watching the seasons change around me, four different seasons, three times. Nostalgic mathematics, the only kind I like.
Best of all, I realize that in August, we will again sit around the dinner table--this time in Texas--and celebrate Jaxon's birthday, opening our book in a new place. Whatever may come, we will gather three times a year--one for each child--and while we watch the seasons change around us, we will celebrate together.