a few minutes ago there was a request to use dad’s phone to record her voice. now i listen to my youngest child sing phrases into her dad’s phone. now i hear him play back the “voice changed” song. her voice is merged with police sirens and meshed with bird calls. i’m pulled to write.
right now my hands are tingling from the hot dish water, the pruned pads of my fingers feel funny on the keyboard. i have a tea towel that bleach won’t clean thrown over my shoulder. i had to move a stack of mail off my computer to find it. i hear my daughter’s voice turn chipmunk style. my oldest daughter is near them on the couch. my son is there too.
jerry’s glass of wine is half full…though he may call it half empty. mine is full and each sip is a reminder of intention. the living room is littered with after school play. the dog keeps going into a yoga style “dog pose” as a request to go out. the barn door is open from chick choring. the kids don’t have school tomorrow but i need to remember to go.
there was a kitchen kiss that reminded me of who i used to be, where i am now and what i want in years to come. all in one moment.
over the garlic bread’s few minutes under the broiler, jerry and i shared stories of our days. stories of caring for children who aren’t our own. the youngest and the oldest of the classrooms in our town.
we reminded our complaining children that instead of their candlelit pasta supper we could have left them home with pb and j (not that there’s anything wrong with that…), but instead we chose this night this way.
eliza just wandered through with ukulele and complete costume. all for this private family moment.
i’ll finish the dishes. i’ll clean up my valentine-making scraps that are all over the basement. jerry will make a fire. the kids will bargain over which hulu show to watch since we can almost never agree on a full length movie.
and i will remember. i will remember. there were many years that i would have given almost everything to have this. and i imagine there will be moments that i will give almost everything to have it again.
so, with garlic on my hands and a blanket thrown over a messy corner in the basement, happy valentine’s day.