There was grocery shopping and there was the 5:20am gurgle of the coffeepot. There were ungracefully prepared but well-received dinners from Pinterest recipes, and a bad dream that landed my little one in my bed at some unknown hour.
There was leaving for work and coming home from work, a trip to the hardware store, and the $20 dresser my mom scouted out at Salvation Army.
There was an email that made me anxious, that awful hot, prickly sensation of wondering if I’d done something wrong. There was the honest response and there was a note saying “I’m sorry” sealed, addressed, then hand-delivered.
There was a girl with a headache. There were early-morning walks for bagels and running in the cold and a bright crescent moon rising. There was a service for a friend I wish I could take another walk with. There were decisions and priorities.
There were Glee episodes and late-night giggles. There were rhymes and tears. There were resumes and workshops. There was comparing and there was refusing to compare, and there were poems and lattes and amazing light and teeth brushing and hot showers and the programming of thermostats.
There was breaking down the boxes and the tic tac dessert for a Zuzu pet and there was a girl playing Coldplay on her guitar and there was the satisfaction of cracking backs on the kitchen floor.
There were texts and messages between never-faraway friends and moments of total overload and moments of total ease and two crows doddling around the yard and birdseed spilled in the backseat of the car. There was Annie’s Mac and cheese and lunch at my desk and there were trips to the post office and sad, sad news stories.
There was reaching over and pulling her close, there was “you’re still here” and there was “you’d better keep me.” There was rain and there was sun. There was good morning and sleep well.
There were hours that felt like molasses and long days that flew by in retrospect. There was awake and there was tired.
There was worried and there were lists and there was stress like the ground could open up and swallow me whole, and there were solid, everything-is fine-in-this-moment reminders.
It was a week. Monday then Friday, with three days between. And I was here.
I’m still here, with people I love and love spent in all the right places, love that fills the cracks and soothes the fears and flows between every rock and eddy, surround-sound love whose bass is my own thumping heart against her chest, home no matter where we land, no matter what the weather, no matter how changeable the surface of things, no matter what mood or mindset comes and goes. It keeps me aloft and it keeps me grounded and it keeps me when I rise swimming and it keeps me when I fall and it keeps me now, watching the first light begin to brighten the silhouettes of bare trees.
It is November 8th, 2013. Friday. It’s 6:30am and it’s starting to rain, a cold rain that sounds like nothing but rain, falling on the thick layer of unraked leaves, and stopping as suddenly as it began.
The ones still sleeping will never know that happened. And I will kiss their foreheads one by one as they stumble awake, so very glad to greet them.