Today started all wrong. It looked right — the little ones all slept pretty well, relatively. Aided by the overcast sky and the darkened morning, the bigger kids even slept longer. Mark, home for the morning because of his night shift work beginning tonight, graciously let me sleep an extra hour. But sometimes even when it looks right, it adds up wrong.
All morning our rhythm didn’t match; callously bumping into one another, stepping on toes that seemed to appear out of nowhere, voices silenced by inefficient ears. It took till naptime to uncover my ills: I was, of course, stressed about working my own night shift without Mark’s help. We did talk it out, patch things up, but the damage was done: the morning was gone.
None of this is very significant. Our day was no more dramatic, no less daily, because of the mess that we made of it. But these are the glasses I put on today; this is the way I saw it. While the grand swoop of the story of my life may look wide and deep by the end of it all, it is merely this: lego-stacked minutes, the daily commune, shifted and built higher and stronger.
This, though – this extra hour of morning grace, this warm oatmeal breakfast, this Hess truck filled with toy trains pushed hard through doorways, this mama snuggle of warm breath and skin. This command to get dressed! Use your words! Say please! This walk in misty rain down sidewalks, one more store, chain of hands stretched person to person. This play-doh mess of one more ball, one more blueberry pancake. This voice, too loud and shrill, and one softer and still. This walking and bouncing and singing and tapping, this crying and crying and crying. This smile! Oh, this smile. This is all it is, and everything it is. And sometimes, when it looks all wrong, it adds up right.