With my children, I am present.
The way I wait while Zoe haltingly speaks, starting and stopping before she strings her words together, until finally the garland that is her sentence is strung before me, her thought process complete . She tells me her secrets and I hold them close, I hold her close, until she is ready to move onto something else.
I stay the course, ever present, while my teen girl travels her waves of emotion. Standing still I give her something to hold on to, I am present , if she reaches out for me.
I am present with my husband, as we connect in the after work hours. We sit and consider our day, filling the space of the hours we spent apart. We compare and critique and the children sometimes sneak in to our present conversation. And then we all come together again at the table for dinner.
In the evening there is homework, and reading time and baths. Medicines and schedules, and must-do things that parents do each night.
There is laughter and sometimes tears, and hand holding and hugs and when I am done, I am happy to be climbing into bed with my husband again.
The bottle of Pinot Grigio I bought just for me, still unopened on the kitchen counter.
On my desk is the new book I want to read, still untouched.
My favorite television show has been recorded.
The colored threads are sorted, and the patterned muslin clipped into a hoop, where a sharpened embroidery needle rests waiting for my hand to hold, while it gathers a fine dust.
In the bathroom there is a deep tub , that used to only be mine, alongside it a deeply piled grey rug to comfort my tired wet feet, after. There is also a shelf lined with bath salts for soaking, lavender, euculyptus and green tea, preserved to stay fresh in their unopened jars.
In the dark, I finally sink into the softness of my pillow, alongside side my husband again, his hand is on my waist and content I can’t help, but to fall off to sleep.
My eyes are closed yet I can see the words I scribbled into my writers notebook today, before me, one after another. Overflowing words I need to empty onto the page.
Tomorrow I will try harder.
Tomorrow I will let the list of things-to- do linger and grow longer.
Tomorrow, I will drink some wine and pour those salts into a deep hot bath, just for me.
I will read a book sitting in our pretty room I never sit in- and then I will write the words that need to flow.
My hands will reach for my forgotten project, and I will sit upon my couch and watch my favorite show.
Tomorrow, I promise I will try a little harder-
To be present with myself.