There are piles of library books on the footstool. We read Robert Munsch books out loud over and over again and part of me wonders if I missed my calling as a children’s librarian because I kick ass at reading books out loud. You’re sitting on the leather chair and I can tell by your eyes that you’re taking forever-memories in right now. The tinies roar with laughter until they are near tears at Give Me Back My Dad! We’re curled on the couch, two small warm bodies beside me, you holding the baby, and I do the voices, I holler, I roar and we laugh laugh laugh. The late afternoon sun is streaming in the front window and I can see that I need to sweep my floor. One of the great gifts of coastal, rain forest living here in the north is that the sun rarely streams in and so I rarely feel guilty about the state of my floors.
There is laundry that needs to be folded. Most of it is yours, beloved. I fold your underwear and hang up your jeans so that they won’t shrink. I know that you need every millimetre of the denim for your tall frame. I fold Tinkerbell panties and hang up Boston Bruins hockey jerseys and I love you all, each of you, in the serving that is never really noticed.
There is supper on the table, we’re all gathered around, the baby on your knee and we give thanks to God for the food and then we all swing our joined hands and holler ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY and you are hollering right along with them and I want to love you more, to kiss you and so I do but when I get near you, the tinies all bellow FAMILY HUG and they crowd around our legs, clinging right and we drop our hands from each other’s necks to rest on their blonde heads and we meet eyes and you love me more.
The baby toys are scattered across the floor and I’ve been stern too many times today about legos left in the kitchen. Evelynn has decided that it’s time to crawl and I’m not even close to being happy about it because, oh, Lord, that’s three tinies on the move and it’s time to find that old baby gate again.
My darling, lay here on the couch with me. You’re so good to me that I want to run my fingers through your coarse hair.
I’m sorting clothes in the laundry room and the tinies are all watching Little Bear while the baby shrieks, she just found out she’s in charge of her voice and listen to her holler. You kissed me against the washing machine and I bit your bottom lip and you threatened to shut that laundry room door and then you were gone, back to work, and it’s time for school.
Darling, it’s all a mess. We don’t know what we’re doing half the time and later tonight we’re going to hang out in the front street, watching Anne ride her bike and Joe launch rockets and Evelynn resting in your strong arms. I’ll think to myself, tonight, like I do every night, I love you more. Grow old with me, my love, these are the days we’ll remember someday.