The house is quiet but for the sound of pages turning, novels held in the hands of my boys. Their tired lids fight to finish just one more chapter before sleep washes over them. I look up periodically as one of them pads down the hall to share a funny part with me. I smile, taking in their broad shoulders and long limbs. These boys that are turning into men right under my nose. And me, powerless to stop them.
Hannah has finally succumbed to sleep, and tonight that is no small victory. Her repeated pleas to sleep by my side were rejected, one after the other, each more creative in its attempt to persuade. Were it not for the cold I am fighting, I would have given in. Her snuggles keep me company most nights in my life as a travel widow. In spite of her flailing limbs and all-night-thrashing, her presence is comforting in a quiet bed. But tonight, I need rest above all else. The calendar this week is dotted with line after line of tasks and activities, all of which will require my best self.
The phone rings, and a familiar voice closes the gap of miles that lie between us. I share every moment, even the ones mundane. He laughs at our idiosyncrasies, the ones he knows so well. He vents a little of his own day, and my heart aches for him and the stress of his life. We say goodnight, and I offer a prayer of gratitude for the good man that he is. For his capacity to love that is seemingly endless.
I weigh the choices before me and pick up a book instead of a remote. I relish the extraordinary ordinary that is my life. I snuggle under a blanket and close another day. I am grateful and humbled by the peace I feel deep in my soul.
Life is extraordinarily good.