So Very Full

Last night I fell asleep reading to the children. Second time in a week. Thankfully the only repercussions were we lost our place in The Boxcar Children and I don't remember what any of us said in our prayers. They jolted me awake so I could pray, and when I said "you go first", they said "we already did!"

They like to read in the "big cozy bed" (mine), and I oblige them. That it makes me fall asleep before 8:00 p.m. on three nights out of seven, well, it's not a habit I'm terribly worried about.

Last night I woke up at 8:30 p.m. to the sounds of children sleeping on either side. I carried them to bed like babies, first Dani, then Caed, cradling the back of their necks and knees in crook of my arms. I tucked them in, positioned their best-loved blankets within gripping distance.

I walked downstairs to do the dinner dishes, a task I often postpone until the dim of night arrives unannounced, carrying the quiet on its back.

I rinsed a dinner plate and a soup bowl, both wedding presents, and it occurred to me that this life I never imagined, not fifteen years ago and not ever, is the messiest sort of perfection. My dishes are plain white pottery, a tiny filigree border the only ornamentation, and they have served me well for fifteen years. My life dresses as plain as those plates on most days, but it's piled so high with good and simple and true, the best kind of full plate.

I was trying to finish that sentence above, make it some sort of beautiful, chill-inducing conclusion about the simple beauty of life and family. But Dani just woke up and came to sit next to me. She laid her head on my lap. Her cheek now rests a few inches from the keys of the laptop. She just looked up and said, "You're da best mommy in da world." (And now she is saying, "Calli is da best doggy in da world!" She is fairly liberal with her superlatives in the morning.)

This life sits plain and white, only a bit of filigree. But piled upon it high, so high  are all the things I never dreamed would fill me up.

And here I am, so very full.

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