The baby is sleeping. The house mutters the sounds of evening. My husband's slightly dirty feet are propped tiredly on the couch. The dogs wander aimlessly and settle in heaps of quiet. I sip my wine.
The dishwasher is half loaded. The family room is strewn with dog bones, train tracks, tiny loafers, and a miniature radio flyer. A giant teddy bear slumps in defeat next to some building blocks and a soccer ball. Tissues that were used to wipe a tiny nose sit in a discarded pile screaming to be thrown away.
I wonder if I should get up. Clean something. Straighten something. Have a meaningful conversation with my husband for the first time all day. Pet my dogs who are brushed aside in importance by a ball of running, laughing, demanding toddler. I contemplate opening a second bottle of wine. The dregs of the week-old bottle on the kitchen counter aren't quite satisfying enough.
I picture a Hallmark aisle of greeting cards. My imaginary hands open a pastel card. Italic letters say, "My Life is Full." I have no idea where this image comes from. What kind of greeting card would this be? But the cheesy, sappy words float through my head all day long.
I sit in my backyard, watching the leaves in the sunlight. My eyes are eased by the brilliant green grass and the patches of lavendar across stone. I take a sip of my coffee. Then I jump up, remembering. I chase this little being across the grass. Rescuing him from a million life-threatening "almosts." I corral the dogs in their puppyhood. I try to be creative with my son, when I really just want to read a book without interruption. I think, My Life is Full.
It's dinner time. I try to feed him healthy, delicious food and fail miserably and give him graham crackers and cheese. I eat my own food without tasting it and remember three hour meals where each bite is savored and discussed. I am amazed by his tiny hand balancing food on a tiny spoon. I catch my husband's eye. We don't really talk to each other. After the meal, I rinse the tray and think about dirty dishes. My Life is Full.
Bedtime. Little hands. Little mouth. Touching. Sucking. Entwined with me. I am mixed with overwhelming love and a burst of tenderness and the desire to escape into a moment of separation. I sing, I soothe him. I sit in the darkness and touch his hair. I want to scream in exasperation at the unfairness of mothers whose babies go to sleep without an hour long ordeal. He sleeps. I sit with him for a few more minutes. Just because. My Life is Full.
And now here I sit. I think I will open up that new bottle of wine. There is a tiny shovel sitting next to me, incongruous on the living room carpet, speckled with bits of sand. The room smells thick. That soccer ball, the one next to the teddy bear? He kicked it around the house today while we followed in amazement. And so, I am tired. But. My mental greeting card got it right. My Life is So Goddamn Full.