Last night was a typical evening for us. The kids were finishing their homework and chores, while the three of us checked on the chickens and picked vegetables. These photos I captured from last night reminded me of something I wrote around this time last year...
"I stroll down the driveway with June in tow, she's attached to me inside her ergo carrier and grasping my shirt. A glass of white wine fills my left hand and the other gently rubs the back of her tiny, soft haired head. Two houses down there's a swarm of school aged children on the front lawn, two of them belong to me. I holler to mine "dinner." Joe speeds towards me on his red scooter and Jubilee races behind him on her bike she's already outgrowing. In the backyard, meat and vegetables are sizzling on the grill and ready to be plated. We all find our seats around the espresso wood dinner table centered in our dining room. The kids have only ever eaten their meals at this table. I used to frown at the imperfections it's collected over the years, and consider replacing it with a newer, prettier table. But those thoughts have passed. The marks are my marks, each one with a tale to tell. Turquoise plates and cloth napkins line the table this night. The conversation usually begins with one question "what was the best part of your day?" The kids' answers are mostly predictable. They speak over one another, excited to be the first to share. Joe's usually involves math or music, and Jubilee's is almost always reading. When we get to me, it's truthfully always this moment. This time of day when my family is here, it's certainly not perfect, but it's my ideal. My home and heart is full. It might be messy, loud, chaotic at times, and even hold it's unhappy moments, but it's full of life and togetherness. It's full of growing pains, and lessons learned, and dinner-time giggles, and eager eyes on the bright future.
If in my old age I ever have a moment I wish to relive, I'm certain it will be from these days I am living right now. It won't be from my twenties, it won't be when the house is paid off, it won't be when I'm traveling to Iceland, it will be this right here. Realizing that has been both emotional and freeing. I know to be more present. I'll miss looking down to see June's pink painted toes beneath me and little arms reaching around to give my legs a hug. I'll miss Joe coming down from cleaning his room with an eye patch, a bandana, and a necklace on because he's eager to wear his long lost treasures. I'll miss Jubilee drawing in her notepad and singing her favorite songs a little off key with her head phones in. I'll miss new table marks.
I've finally done it, I've reached that point in my life when I look around and say to myself, "these are the best days of my life."