My life is measured in a staccato fashion, with the hours being broken into minutes and the minutes being broken into directives.

Orange juice.


Wipe me.

Hold me.

Ad copy.

Furnace service.

Hygiene (rarely mine)

I am trying to be present. Just this morning, with Sean away for work, I was struggling to get the girls ready for school. Finley won’t wear but one pair of shoes, Briar gave her a different pair. Ave can’t zip her coat and needs to know which shoe goes on which foot. Briar get hungry at the door. I was ready to yell, but something made me stop. It was as if time froze and I held my tongue. I dropped my head, looked back up at those six impossibly blue eyes and said in a raspy voice, “Just help mama get you out, ok?”

Later, driving by myself back from the gym I hear a song. Normally I’d change the channel knowing it would make me cry, but today I gave myself to it.

How could that beautiful women with you
Be the same freckle face kid that I knew
The one that I read all those fairy tales to
And tucked into bed all those nights
And I knew the first time I saw you with her
It was only a matter of time

But I loved her first and I held her first
And a place in my heart will always be hers
From the first breath she breathed
When she first smiled at me
I knew the love of a father runs deep
And I prayed that she’d find you someday
But its still hard to give her away
I loved her first

From the first breath she breathed
When she first smiled at me
I knew the love of a father runs deep
Someday you might know what I’m going through
When a miracle smiles up at you
I loved her first

It’s country and the day is not yet here, but the sentiment is true.

There are only so many nights for tucking in, only so many mornings of pre-dawn cuddles. I am at the thick of it, the cacophony of needs and demands never so strong as at this moment with one baby, one toddler and one “he asked me to marry him, will you buy my dress?” kindergartener.

I need to be here.

Work is work and must be done, but these are my days, whether I mean as the mother of my daughters, the lover of my husband or the architect of my dreams. It won’t come easy and I won’t always make the right choices, but the more minutes I can spend in today rather than tomorrow or yesterday, the better we’ll all be for it.

Are you here? Today?