My days start at least an hour before I’m ready for them to. I wake up to Luna’s grinning face inches from my own, because I caved the night before in a state of bleary eyed exhaustion and brought her back to bed with me. As soon as she sees that I’m awake she flails her tiny fist up and down, “cah cah cah! blrrrrrrr!”
Almost by psychic connection, Xander wakes up soon after. If it’s before 7:00 (spoiler alert: it is), he’ll consult his wake up clock and shout, “It’s not green, mama!” and then walk out of his room, anyway. “I want a snack!”
John and I stumble out of bed, in the organized chaos of the morning: coffee, breakfast, let the dog out, change a diaper or two, find blankie, check calendars, and then, suddenly, it’s time to nurse the baby down for her first nap.
The rest of the day passes much the same: the every day tasks that consume so much time, maybe interspersed with trips to the park or the ice cream stand. John and I sometimes take turns going downstairs to the office to work; he’s not teaching this summer so he’s home more than usual, and I teach online courses. If I”m lucky and get enough time during the day, then I can finish the work and still have an hour or so of free time after the kids are in bed.
Like many families, the 4PM to dinner stretch is the longest. Everyone is tired and hungry and running on fumes, the dog included. It’s so easy to get discouraged and frustrated trying to make a healthy and yummy dinner while the three year old shouts from hip height: “No! I no like that! No carrots!”
But, somehow, meals get eaten, baths get taken (or, more often, not), and in the blink of an eye we find ourselves in the same spot we have spent every night for the past several years: sitting together on the couch, watching a cartoon, a tangle of arms and legs and fur and blankets and pacifiers. John and I will look at each other over the tops of these little heads and smile because, wow. Just, wow, you know?
It’s crazy and exhausting and I don’t have enough arms or time and the laundry is still unfolded but, what bounty. What a life!
At the end of the show, Xander presses the “off” button and climbs over his baby sister into my lap. He wraps his arms around my neck and whispers wetly into my ear. “I weally love you, Mama. You did so great.” And even though I know tomorrow will come to soon, and my to-do list will only grow, and I’ll probably make another unacceptable meal, this single moment is worth it. It’s enough.