Ben is in the shower, while the other two boys are still sleeping. The coffee is perfect and I am thankful I never followed through with that insanity about giving it up. My dog is, as always at my feet, and the sun if up already.
It is quiet. I love the morning quiet.
I do not believe in God, but I do believe in being blessed. I am blessed. Not only do I have healthy children, I have my family.
I came home the other night to Jake in the bathtub with a homemade bow and quiver full of arrows next to the tub, standing at the ready. It had been painted and adorned with a gold ribbon. Walter had helped him.
It was beautiful. The sweetness of it, the gold ribbon along with the fierce paint colors, reminded me again that Jake has a great dad.
Ben had put his artwork in my office. He no longer wants his work put on the side of the refrigerator but he still wants me to ooo and ahh over it.
Zachary ran and jumped into my arms. He's getting a little big to do this. I'm catching 100 pounds coming fast but I still can. For now.
Coming home is always sweet.
As the morning goes on, Jake and Zachary will get up. They will come down and join the dog and I in front of the fireplace. We'll all huddle for a moment before I shoo them to get breakfast.
My loyal dog will abandon me for hope something will fall from the table, as it often does.
Ben will emerge, freshly showered and sprayed with enough AXE cologne to choke a horse. He will be fashionable and ready for a day of attitude. I will have to remind him to eat before he leaves, something I rarely did as a kid his age.
He is too nervous, just like I was, too.
The brothers will all find at least one thing to argue about. Ben will check his hair at least five times. Zachary will gather chips, milk and juice boxes for me to pack with their lunches and snacks. Jake will slowly lace up his red Chucks without socks, until I insist he puts some on.
Some things are like the tide. I know they will happen. There is always some shifting, with the moon, with the season, with the amount of sleep each child has had.
Last night I heard about a young woman who died without warning, with her mother desperately trying to save her from a piece of food stuck in her throat. It happened in an instant.
I sat for a long time after hearing the news, stunned. I did not know the woman directly. I could only imagine the mother's horror. And how quickly her life has changed.
By 8:10AM, all my boys will have left the house. Jeanine will be in the shower, getting ready for work. The dog will be back at my feet.
We make plans, dream of the future, and expect tomorrow to come. We know the tide will shift a little.
As I wait for the routine to begin, for the feet to come pounding down the stairs, my eyes are filling up with tears. I am so grateful for all that I have.
And I know, sometimes, tomorrow doesn't come.