I rub my eyes and adjust my glasses, arch my back and tuck my legs beneath me. The smooth wood, hard and uncomfortable, is a reminder of how long I’ve been sitting.
My eyes search and scan. My fingers type and click. My screen glows and brightens.
Jason slides into the seat next to me, leans back, and stretches his long legs underneath the table. He crosses one ankle over the other and asks, Anything new since the last time you checked?
His voice is playful.
I barely glance up.
My fingers type furiously, with a purpose. I have a rhythm, a plan, a way. Blogs. Tweets. Comments. Facebook. Writing. Slide, point, click, read, type, repeat.
You’ve been on there a lot today, he nudges. His eyes and voice mirror each other. Kind. Poignant.
I glance out the window. Notice the gray sky filling above. Get drawn into the raindrops sliding along the kitchen window. The storm mocks the calendar. It’s mid-May and I long for sunshine.
My children are immersed in play beside me. Play doh, coloring, singing, banging. I hardly hear, scarcely notice.
I’m lost in my screen.
And if I’m completely honest with myself, I’m annoyed by the noise around me.
It grates, pulls me out of my trance. As their voices rise, crazy with the rain, my presence lowers, impatient with my family.
Seemingly just moments later, I’m still downstairs. Reading. Pointing. Clicking. In the background, my family happens. Jason is wrapping up our evening upstairs.
Water splashes, giggles burst.
The low lilt of Jason’s voice followed by the high tones of my three children fill my ears. Their voices are no longer a grate, but rather an invitation.
I refresh each screen just one more time. In case there’s something new, something missed, something that I need to know. And only then, I make my way upstairs.
Leaning against the bathroom doorway, I breath them in.
Bubble beards tickly.
Jason helps each of my heartstrings out of the bath. Kayli takes a hand. Chloe takes two. Brody is lifted.
He wraps them up tight and sends them to me. They trickle their way over.
Chloe’s eyes shine as she jumps into my arms, drenching me thoroughly.
Kayli’s hair drips onto my chest as she squeezes me close, reminding me to be here.
And Brody seals the deal as he looks up at me. Wet hair, glistening eyes. I want you to carry me.
I’m present again.
I snuggle and read and sing and repeatedly tuck-in. My heart is full, my mind is clear, and my back no longer aches.
But afterwards, when the night is quiet, I head back downstairs. My eyes are bleary and sleep calls, but I settle in for hours of just one more click, just one more refresh, unable to stay away.