In the middle of the afternoon, I’m washing dishes, because I’m a rebel of such matters. They are playing in the living room, I hear loud, rambunctious laughter. It will end with tears, because it will. Four is having so much fun and little miss nearly two thinks she as big as him, but it gets too rough and then the tears.
What happened? I asked. Harper got hurt, because she fell down, he answered. I pause and assess the tiny, red mark on her cheek, my eyes studying his. Did she just fall down? He thinks for a minute and then our eyes meet, honesty pours out of him, with no fear. No, Harper got hurt because I pushed her and she fell down. I’m sorry, mama, we were just playing.
There are hugs and kisses and all is well, she adores her brother and she holds no grudge on these long winter days.
Daddy works long hours with a new schedule, but down from two jobs for two years to one, we are thankful. Inside we’ve created a world full of cozy and cheer. Robot towers and train tracks and well-loved baby dolls. Coffee in the morning and coffee in the afternoon, meals in-between. Toys decorate the floor by day, the silence of the tree lights by night. The new possibilities that may come with spring sit bundled on a shelf, with a sign that reads, do not open until later, and right now feels good. Exhausting, but really good. For one of the first times, probably ever, I am not wishing away all the moments that lead up to what could be. I find myself walking throughout the house, doing normal motherly-artist things and I’m aware of a feeling that is not to be taken for granted.
Contentment covers me like the thick blanket of freshly, fallen snow outside my window.