My days always start in the same way: one child pulling my breasts out of my shirt while I'm half-asleep while the other comes running into the bedroom heavy-footed while pulling my eyelids open, proclaiming loudly in my ear, "Mama, my tummy hurts."
"Your tummy doesn't hurt, love... you're just hungry," I insist, still rubbing the sleep from my eyes.
She corrects herself, "I'm hungry," and continues. "Mama, I love you."
"I love you too, baby," I say.
We all crawl out of bed as I make breakfast for the three of us. Most of it ends up on the floor and I feel like I'm constantly making things just to clean them up.
The days are long.
I've been staying home more lately as the weather has started to turn cool. I know eventually I'll get back out there. I'll start meeting up with friends again. We'll start getting out for playdates and adventures. But right now, I'm okay with staying in. I will work on my writing every once and a while. Do you know how hard it is to write when you can't hear yourself think?
Quiet is an incredibly rare thing to find, as is uninterrupted time alone, but every now and then I can find myself sneaking in moments here and there. Tiny little accomplishments.
I'll look over from my desk and see them playing together, learning together.
A rare moment of sharing and I'm proud.
These are our days right now, and this is our normal.
Dinner will-- usually, hopefully-- be simmering away on the stovetop, and after what seems like an eternity, I'll hear the most magical sound in the world: the clank-clank-clanking of the hand-painted family sign I have hung onto the front door; the sound that can be only heard as the door is opened. Papa is home!
The girls stop in their tracks and start screaming in joy, seeing who can run over to him the fastest for a GIANT Papa Bear hug. Erick wraps his arms around us all and the cycle of another day, in my mind, has come to a close. I notice myself slowly melting into a giant puddle, everything washing over me as I gently shut my eyes; the emptiness felt from hours of doubt or frustration is replaced with a deep and loving security. The pieces of my soul that feel flawed and missing are in a moment replete and brimming in wholeness.
Everything is right.
Everyone is safe.
Everyone is happy.