I’m sitting in the big chair in the girls room, legs crossed, laptop nestled beneath my belly and between my knees. Both girls are asleep on their backs, each facing away from the wall and toward each other. I trimmed their bangs this morning, Briar’s forehead is a seashell pink, dusted by two sandy arches, Avery’s an ethereal milky color, her brows like artist’s strokes of charcoal. The light coming through the white panels and pink sheers is soft, the world beyond a brilliant white, silent and serene, as inch after inch of snow falls in impossibly tiny flakes.

We’ve spent the morning making Valentine’s, wood puttying nail holes in the trim work in the kitchen, and slurping chicken noodle soup through straws. I’ve yet to shower, and somehow sitting here, watching them sleep, still clad in my pajamas and bed hair, I feel as refreshed and pampered as I can ever remember feeling. Perhaps it’s the way the simple magic of the entire day clings to me like the snowflakes glimmering on every surface outside.

Avery came to me as I began to wake this morning, hauling her little body up into bed and then on top of me. She slipped into her favorite mold, laying her neck against mine and burying her face in the side of mine, while running her fingers up and down my arm whispering, “You ahm, you nayck, you showduh.” We stayed like that for some time until Sean popped his head up and offered to take Ave downstairs. Later, after I’d fallen back to sleep, Briar squealed, realizing that she was all alone. She sprinted to our room and rushed to my side of the bed, her relief at seeing me had her collapsing into my side, her palm outstretched and cupping my face.

I find myself wanting to stay until they wake, to be there to witness the gentle rustle, lips pursing in a cross between a kiss and a question, knees popping up beneath bright fleece dotted with princesses and monkeys. I imagine the delight on their faces as they realize I never left. The anticipation warms me from head to toe and it is all I can do to keep myself from kicking and shrieking, waking the neighborhood with my delight at being mama to Briar and Avery, and soon another.