I come downstairs after both kids are tucked snugly into bed, one-and-a-half out of two asleep. The house has that disheveled look of a day well lived.
Peepo, one of our favourite books, pulled off the shelf. The table strewn with after-supper artwork and bowls of homemade paint. Pickwick, our new kitten, chasing cheerios and peas across the dining room floor. More socks than the number of children’s feet in this house dropped in diverse places. (They multiply on the floor and disappear in the dryer – oh the strange magic of socks.) One last pile of laundry waiting for a bath. A stray, sticky pot. Bits and pieces of our little life, the evidence of moments spent and shared and sewn together, stitching us together.
For today I’ve held little hands and whole squirming bodies of babies and what seems like a dozen things at once, yet somehow it’s all holding me, and it’s all here.
A sense of accomplishment sneaks up on me, as that of a sovereign surveying her domain with the satisfaction of a realm at rest. The cat looks at me as if I’m being ridiculous.
Yes, I am still going to have to finish the dishes, do that laundry, pick up those socks, sweep the floor, put the hedgehog family (and all their miniature friends and relations) back in the play barn, and otherwise tidy up.
But by some special grace, I am able to see this to-do list tonight as a to-thank list. To take joy in this quiet moment of messy contentment.
To feel somehow like a queen in the midst of a maidservant’s work.