Today started like a train wreck and ended like a sinking ship. I made breakfast in a trance and it was not good. I told the kids it was good, but it wasn’t. The eggs were hard and burnt. They cried and I wanted to cry too, but I didn’t. I just willed my coffee to be magic and hugged you as you ran out the door.
I went to the coffee shop because our coffee pot was broken. I called you so that we could laugh about the meltdown our littlest was having about wearing pants. She was shrieking in the background while we giggled on the phone. Together we made it funny instead of awful.
I’m pretty sure I did a lot of things today, but I couldn’t tell you what those things were. Everything I “did” today was also undone. I don’t have a finished product to show, or a paycheck to deposit in our account.
I did laundry, but the basket is still overflowing onto the floor.
I vacuumed, but lunch erupted and spread a 15-foot crumb cloud over the whole house.
I wiped bottoms, I flushed toilets, I read books, I argued with a delusional toddler about nap time.
I watched the clock for the minute you would get home.
Today I was both overwhelmed and underwhelmed. When you came home, you stepped over toys blocking the doorway. You didn’t notice. You used to notice, but now you get it.
We hugged and kissed and you wrestled the kids until everyone was laughing and one was crying. You are the best.
I’m so grateful I get to do this with you.
We crossed the bedtime finish line and collapsed on the couch. You said “thank you” like you couldn’t tell that our house looked like the scene of a robbery performed by preschoolers.
Sometimes this is us: tired and cuddling on the couch while we let the day wash off of our backs. Sometimes a few episodes of our favorite show is the best kind of therapy.
I lean into your arm and we laugh at something ridiculous and my heart feels light.
I don’t want to be anywhere else in our life, but here.
I wouldn’t go forward and I wouldn’t go backward either.
I wouldn’t change a thing. This struggling and learning and growing is exhausting, but it looks good on us too. We are thousands of miles away from the babies we were when we first met.
But I’m more in love with the man you are today than ever before.
I’d rather be here with you next to me, and our kids asleep in their beds, than anywhere else in the world.
by Jessica Cushman Johnston