The smell of browned butter and the resulting cookies lingers in my kitchen. There is an accompanying (but not complimentary) smell of chlorine-drenched pool towels. The rain has slowed, but the smell is in my nostrils, like a permanent reminder that Spring is somewhere around here.
My house has signs of Tuesday all over it. The aforementioned towels and other swim paraphernalia, the day's dishes, a load of laundry waiting to be escorted off to its proper place. Baby toys strewn all over every square inch of the living room. The Hobby Lobby evidence is positively incriminating, lying all over the counter. I have a lengthy list of to dos and should be doings, but there's this overwhelming draw to just be. Jimmy is gone, and so of course the opportunities are endless - Last night's Dancing with the Stars, more sewing, rekindled knitting romance, or maybe even a book. Plus, those cookies that miraculously made it to the cookie phase of their delicious little lives.
My kids are fresh out of the baths and sound asleep just feet from me. Aside from the thoughts of FREEDOM! my mind feels neatly compartmentalized and my heart feels full. This is not always the case - for so much of the last seventeen months (without mentioning names, ahem.) I have been such a hot mess. I forget the craziest things, remember the stupid things, and feel like I can pull myself to some semblance of presentable just in time to make myself five minutes late to wherever I am going. And if I achieved anything further than clothes on my body, then you can be certain there are 29 shirts on the floor of my closet, makeup littering my bathroom counter, and what may look like a burglary through the rest of my home.
I don't have it all together, but I have this realization that life is such a short phase. With every passing day, I grow more aware of the things that really, truly matter. My grandpa turned 90 last week. Ninety. And while he remembers impressive bits from long ago, I know that so many things have slipped through the cracks. Things that once brought smiles to his face, things that irritated the life out of him, and things he thought he may never forget.
I won't have tiny little people animatedly eating at my table.
One day, I won't be combing through closets with a flashlight to lay out the next day's clothes.
They'll have their own fashion opinion and the ability to form fashion conscience decisions without me.
One day, I won't rock a baby to sleep. 38 times before 10 pm.
He'll walk down the hall and crawl into bed himself and I'll see him in the morning.
One day, I won't spend every night fishing trains from beneath couches, placing Barbies in their homes, and neatly stacking books.
Our living room will be rid of toys.
One day, I'll have myself together and arrive at places early.
Because I won't have three people that need me to fetch snacks and search for shoes and brush unruly hairs into place.
One day, we won't be 30 minutes late for bedtime.
They won't ask me for one more book.
One day, I won't be driving the mom shuttle to school and ballet and swimming.
They'll drive themselves.
One day, Jimmy and I won't remember how we once mastered the art of rolling dice like quiet ninjas in a heated game of Yahtzee.
We won't have a precious, sleeping baby in our room.
One day, I won't be the center of their world.
They'll find other people to love and places to be.
One day, I won't have such a difficult decision with how to spend my free time, because I'll have enough of it and my babies will have grown.
So for now, I think there are cookies that need to be had, blessings to be counted, and laundry that can wait until tomorrow.
I'm thankful for the symbolic workload today, even when it's tedious and overwhelming. There are blessings everywhere, neatly woven in the chaos.