Upside Down

Some days never get around to feeling quite right.

It can be hard to find any good reason for a day that has been tipped on its side. Often as not, the sun is shining. I am well fed and well kept. The hours stretch in front of me, pieces of time I get to fill just as I choose.

But then the TV is left on a little long. And the kids cry because they are tired or hungry or simply because they can. And Riley and I can't seem to talk to each other. And I say No at bedtime when Margaret asks for one more story. And I just want Viola to go to sleep so I can be alone. And Riley and I still don't talk.

Then the house is finally quiet and I feel the waste of the day press down on me. So I go in and kiss Margaret as she sleeps. Brush her hair away from her face, Mommy's sorry. Viola has lost her blanket. I tuck her in and touch her chest for just a moment. My hand moves as she breathes. Up and down. A blessed, life giving, heart achingly beautiful Up and Down. And Riley. He has been asleep for hours. I know I belong next to him.

Tomorrow will be better.