“What is this day called and what are we doing?” He asks.
His feet pad toward me quickly, efficiently in his trademark way. He’s barely entered the room.
The birds chirp mercilessly, but the sun shines bright, waking my littlest guy earlier than usual.
I close my computer’s windows, and open my day’s version of the same.
“It’s Friday buddy, remember? The girls’ last day of school.” I answer, lacing my fingers with his.
His smile brightens this early hour.
After a mountain of books and a cup of chocolate milk, the girls make their way downstairs.
Long, strong, sure footsteps closely followed by pink tipped toes desperately trying to keep up.
I busy myself in the kitchen as they settle onto their stools. They always sit in birth order. None of us are interested in upsetting the delicate balance they’ve created.
“How do you want to celebrate tonight, girlies?” I ask. My voice edges tentative. We haven’t made plans for this big day and this is where I buy my worries.
Will they want to spend time with friends that are busy or in places that we can’t get to? Will they agree? Will they ask for something that I can’t deliver?
If there’s one thing that a mother wants to do on the precipice of change, it’s to deliver on HeartWants.
They pause and think, their feet swinging on the stools.
While I wait, I allow myself the luxury of heart tugging and wonder how long it will be before their feet graze the floor and their stools don’t seem so very big and they don’t seem so very small in them.
Brushed silver spoons clinking against ceramic bowls and clear cut cups settling against countertops just recently replaced the colorful plastic reminders that young children live here.
And these are the sounds that bring me back to my children who are not too big and too small, but are my Right Now.
“Let’s go out to dinner.” Kayli says, mentioning our favorite spot for chips and salsa. The others nod. Two shining bobs of auburn and gold agreeing with their older sister.
“And then have a sleepover in your room!” Chloe adds.
Her voice fills our space between cool wood floor and speckled white ceiling. The area that she so easily fills is polka dotted only by their pajamaed bodies and sleepy hair and raised cheeks.
I look into their eyes, each a shade lighter than the next, and see what they know.
The good stuff, the happy, is always within, and just outside.
There’s no need to look much further than right here.