Thursday, October 28, 2010

Where the Heart Is

I wrote this Monday morning but surprise, surprise I had a few things to catch up on and didn't get around to proofing and publishing until just now.

I arrived in the middle of the night.

I dropped my bags in the hallway and collapsed on the bed.

I laid my head on Brian's chest.

He was deep in sleep but I knew he knew I was there when he let out a sigh of comfort.

I picked up my tired body and tiptoed into the bathroom to brush my teeth.

On my way back to the bedroom I made a pit stop in William's room.

I buried my nose into the side of his cheek and breathed him in.

I whispered into his ear, "Mommy's home."

His eyes flickered once, twice.

Then he threw one elbowed arm around my neck and pulled me in.  Tight.

"Mooooommy..."  He sighed with content.

I kissed him and told him he could go back to sleep.

"Don't worry," I said, "I'm home for good now."

I crawled into bed, under the covers.

Have my sheets always been this soft?

I searched for the warmth of my husband.

The door creaked.

I heard sobbing.

"Mommy I did miss you.  I did want you to come home."

I lift the blankets and let him in.

Brian explains, "He told me he didn't want you to come home."

Trying to be brave.  I'm sure.

My little boy who is still so little.

I hold him closer so he knows.  I'll still be here in the morning.

Then I carry him back to bed.

In the morning I heard her chatting away.

Could she talk this well before I left?

I open her door a crack and offer her my eyeball.

She laughs.

I close the door.


I spring the door wide open.

She throws her bed head back and gives off a full belly giggle.

Does she remember that I was gone?  Or has she already forgotten?

I pick her up and she wraps both arms around my neck and melts into me.

The strongest claw couldn't pry her away.

She remembers.

Together we go downstairs where I start preparing everyone's oatmeal.

I kiss Brian goodbye and he leaves the house sans kids for the first time in five days.

I add the brown sugar, cinnamon, berries.

We gather around the table.

"So what do you want to do today, Mommy?"

"Whatever you want!"

And I mean it.

And I know.

This is where I belong.  It's where I've always belonged.

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