Today did not come gently, it clattered down over me after the riotous exit of the disaster that was yesterday. I vowed not to let myself give into the temptation to be forcefully bitter and resentful. While my fingertips aren’t bloody, they should be for all the clinging to positivity I’ve practiced. I snapped at the girls on the way to the sitter, they were thrusting artwork over the passenger seat as I drove.
Fin: “Look’t this one mama.”
Ave: “And here’s this one.”
Fin: “And look at this one.”
Ave: “Mom, grab my shell. My shell! It fell.”
Bri: “Hey, Ave that was cool, that rhymed. Did you hear the rhyme, mom? Shell and fell.”
Fin: “What shell?”
Ave: “My shell! It fell! Please get it, mom.”
Bri: “See, you are rhyming still. Wait, does that rhyme? Still, shell, fell…”
Fin: “Can I see the bell?”
Bri: “Oooh, another rhyme.”
Ave: “What bell?”
I snapped at them, wildly waving an arm in front of me, “Do you see this girls? Do you see all the cars and people I need to watch? It’s too much.”
They were silent.
“Listen, I’m sorry. We are just having a bad day at work. I shouldn’t get mad, but I do need to concentrate on the road. I’ll look at your stuff when we stop.”
Fin: “That’s ok, mama. We did anything they asked us to at school because we were so good. You don’t havta worry about us today.”
They were quiet the rest of the ride. Why does the quiet always distract me more than the noise they make? When we got to the sitter’s Briar asked if she could show me her artwork. I said that I didn’t have time as I took her hand and walked her in to the house. They quickly shucked off any bad feelings as they began playing with Uno cards. I walked out to the car feeling defeated. I tried to shake it on the drive back to the office.
I parked my car beneath the shade of a tree and leaned back into my seat. The stack of art projects beside me shone against the grey upholstery. I decided to look through them so that I could rave about them when I picked up the girls. No sooner had I unfolded the first one that the color of the day shifted. Yes, there are some things I need to slog my way through, but I have three luminous, little girls who worship me. When I read them stories they trace their fingertips along my skin, they lean their heads against my body and murmur that they love me.
They see shapes and colors in different ways, offering perspectives that remind me of how much magic there is to experience if only we get out of our own way.
I sat with their pictures, photographing them to show to Sean and counting my blessings, of which there are more than I deserve some days.