Layers of Full

Worn paint brushes and strewn gloves, tattered library books and metal cars.

These are the things that fill our home from cool hardwood floor to too-high-to-dust ceiling.

We emptied ourselves of schedules and homework and reminders on this No School day, and filled up instead with friends and dancing and layers of messes.

And we are, indeed, full.

I slice celery at the counter. Knife thuds provide the beat to my girlfriend’s lilts.

Our words come quickly, weaving around and through and (often) over our children’s voices.

Two generations of stories begging to be told, and heard.

We wrap our fingers around steaming mugs and breathe this kind of Full Empty day in.

In frantically searching for my Full, I had all but forgotten that it’s always within fingertip reach.

Homemade chicken soup, messy art projects, a house full of kids, laughing with friends.



I repurpose the chicken soup for dinner.

“Do I have to eat this?”

“Can I have fluffernutter?”

And an eye roll. (That one hurts the most.)

I take in the dark of their eyes and the droop of their cheeks and the perfect purse of their lips, and am struck (ever-so-forcefully) by how soft and small and tired they look.

Shades of babies wisp through my heart as their backs curve into the paint etched wooden chairs.

They’re full, overflowing even, and cut from my cloth, in dire need of filling up in the quiet way.


Darkening and smudging and muting our shoulds, we skip swimming and dance and homework.

We fill the bathtub (extra) full with bubbles and children, and our bedsides (extra) high with books and more books.

And in emptying our night, we gift ourselves another layer of full.

iPhone Photo Phun

Submissions for Pens and Paint, an anthology of children’s poetry and artwork, are open. If you adore someone aged 6-18, then you need to read this. Yes, you.

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  1. What a lovely way to spend the holiday. Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. I would have loved some of your chicken soup. It sounds yummy.

  3. Sounds like a perfect day. Just perfect.

  4. It is nice to skip sometimes and just be. Send the leftover soup, I will swap it for toast and whatever that unpronounceable sandwich has in…

  5. Sounds like you had a perfect day!

  6. The way you described your day made it sound magical and lovely.

  7. I made them crepes for dinner…with whipped cream…after a full day of card making and clothes design. But then I did make them go to skating lessons. Because I cannot be nice all day…it’s not becoming of myself. 😉

    Love this so much Galit. xoxo

    Also – YAY school today!

  8. So beautifully written! Sounds like you all had a wonderfully, whimsical time!

    Thank you for giving me such a lovely start to my day. =)

  9. What a perfect day you had! And you describe it so poetically. Beautiful!

  10. I love empty days! The kind that fill you up with what you need the most. Oh and “shades of babies” I know that feeling so well… they are growing up TOO FAST.

    Thank you, as always, for sharing your writing. It truly is a gift.

  11. That sounds like an awesome day. I just adore the way you describe things, Galit. That’s true talent, my friend. Honestly.

  12. You’re so right. A playdate can fill an empty soul like nothing else. I loved “knife thuds provide the beat to my girlfriend’s lilts”.

  13. Perfect. I love days like that. The quiet and the noise combined…

  14. Ah, yes. Sounds both wonderful and tiring all at once. We had one of those yesterday too. And I felt both – content and exhausted, after it ended.

  15. It sounds like an amazing way to spend the holiday!

  16. A perfectly wonderful way to spend the day. I loved this, “And we are, indeed, full.”

    (visiting via Blogger Comment Club)

  17. I just love the “Full Empty” day, don’t you?


  18. Sounds like a fantastic day!

  19. This is just glorious. This morning I mused myself about how it’s the emptiest days that wind up being the most overflowingly full. xox

  20. I was thinking about your writing this morning. It is so lyrical. Almost like poetry within a narrative. Beautiful.

  21. Always, always so beautifully written, Galit! I love how you see the world. Lucky kids to have you as a mom!

  22. What a lovely day, indeed. Thanks for sharing it :)

    (visiting via Blogger Comment Club)

  23. I love the request for a fluffernutter! I haven’t had one in ages.

  24. –Our words come quickly, weaving around and through and (often) over our children’s voices.–

    You are an amazing, visual writer.

    You awaken the senses :) Xx

  25. Full Empty is exactly right.

    Congratulations on your perfect paradox.

    (And also on the lovely post in which you shared it.)

  26. A wonderful way to spend the day at home. Full. Beautiful.

  27. Sounds like a wonderful holiday, glad you enjoyed it.

  28. see? did I tell you? One thing I love about you is that always create these magical moments! xo

  29. I so rarely get an “I love this Mom!” over what I cook for dinner. And relentlessly I present the new and good for you things in hopes. Sometimes I give up and make pasta with ketchup (blech).

  30. I don’t know how you do it friend.
    You win at writing about the ordinary…in such a magnificent and captivating way. You sweep me off my feet every time.

  31. FULL brings to mind so much with one word. I felt your own shoulders sag at the middle with the complaints and eye roll but when you decided to just toss the routine to the wind and enjoy the evening, ignore the responsibilities and “shoulds” I felt that weight lift and heard your heart sigh in joy.

    It’s a wonderful reminder to grab that full any time you can, to put both hands around it knowing that the “shoulds” will still be there later.

  32. Nobody writes like you do. I love the way you fill up over there. Just love it.

  33. We had a day like this on Sunday. Free of anywhere to be or things to do, but it was so full and at the end of the day, we were exhausted and happy. Beautiful words.

  34. Sounds like you had a great day! We definitely took advantage of the long weekend to do extra activities with the kid…and it was a blast!

  35. Oh the eye roll.
    I’m waiting for that to start in the pre teen years.
    I know it’s coming.
    I’m not looking forward to it.

    BUT.. you are a GREAT mom and they know it. And it sounds like they had a wonderful day.

  36. and you are such a glass half full kind of a girl to start with 😉

  37. Sometimes it is just a necessary to stop what you are doing, cancel what is on the rest of the day’s agenda and let them have an evening off. I find that I never regret it. So wonderful that you are a mom that can recognize it and not push. Beautiful words for a beautiful day!

  38. You know, as much as I wish you could avoid the tempestuous nature of adolescence and have delightful “babies” forever, you write about the imperfect times so well. The eye roll was a small sentence but it had a big impact. It showed how they are growing and becoming more comfortable with themselves. Watching that independence has to pull at your heart in good and bad ways.

  39. An excellent way to enjoy your holiday. I love skipping Shoulds and filling up with Wants, books, and bubbles.

  40. I love this. And now I want a fluffernutter!

  41. I loved this part: “We emptied ourselves of schedules and homework and reminders on this No School day, and filled up instead with friends and dancing and layers of messes.”

    This is the kind of thing I should post on my refrigerator as a reminder to take the time some days to just dance in the layers of messes with friends and family. Beautiful.

  42. This reads like a poem.
    I am always mesmerized by your words, Galit. Beautiful, as always :)

  43. Love. Love. Love this.

  44. As usual, Galit, this is gorgeous. I would love some chicken soup too. Most of all though, the scenes in your house always look so similar to mine. We simply must, at some point, get all creative together!

  45. ohemgee you skipped your obligations and the world did not end?!? How is this possible?!

    So proud of you Mama.

  46. This is a wonderful post, written from the heart :) I really enjoyed reading!

  47. Beautiful. Life is full at different layers. I love that imagery.

  48. Ya know, whenever I see kids and celery, all I think about is the WonderPets. Do you have that same association, or did your kids never get into them?

  49. I haven’t had fluffernutter since summer camp and your post just brought back very happy memories. Love this! XOXO

  50. Sounds like the perfect day. Full of memory making moments and love.