To get past an excruciating day and retrieve the peace and contentment of regular life, first you take a trip to a park in the early morning cold. And then you go to a favorite café, where you snuggle into a quiet corner for steamed milk with honey, coffee for you and apple turnovers for all. Then you go home and, when the residual stress is still causing your tummy to turn and your kid to bounce between emotions and furniture like a pinball, you go to the bathroom and cry. Let sit overnight.
Next day, you wake and feel a little better. Everyone feels a little better. You plan to meet a friend for a class at the gym so you can sweat and laugh and then, after the class, walk and talk. You dance. You laugh. You talk. You feel better. You get the kids from the nursery and they run with arms and mouths wide open, cheering, “Mommmmmyyyyy!!!” And you are literally knocked over by their love. Grabbing the big kid’s hand and throwing the little one on your shoulders, you gallop out the door, hearing cheers at your side and giggles up top as your hair is yanked gleefully and your gripped hand is swung back and forth.
Off you run into the sunny day, with all your imperfections, and all of theirs, gleaming in the midday light. And you notice how sweet it feels to have sun warming parts relegated to the shadows hours earlier. So free. So you sing at the lunch table. You snuggle and giggle under covers beneath the skylight during quiet time. You snack outside. Later, your kids find more kids and they all race up and down the sidewalk into the late afternoon darkness, when finally you notice how warm it feels and how good it smells in your home as you open the door to boots everywhere, baskets of unfolded laundry, boys whining for food and your barking, licking, wagging dogs, and all you can do is smile and hug them all.
Your oldest kid, the one who often screams at you for closing your eyes at this time, offers to say the prayer and, with his eyes open and his hand holding yours, he thanks God for his dinner, his brother, his dogs, his guitar, his jeans with the holes in them. They eat. They actually eat what you cook them. Then your husband walks in, your youngest kid gets on the floor and starts two-year-old break dancing, you craft a dance floor for him out of plastic tiles and soon, your kids are rocking out and you’re slow dancing with your awesomely hot husband and forgetting everything else.
Add story time, then sleep. Let marinate overnight. Then enjoy.