It's late morning, and the sun has been warming the day for hours. Our unconventional schedule means I sleep later than any other mom I know, how I wish you knew my appreciation for that. I've never been a morning person, but the morning is still my favorite part of our day. Sweet Iris, the one person that sleeps later than Mama, is you baby girl. You're the chubbiest of all my babies, and it's my morning ritual to follow the curves of your face so beautifully defined but the Texas sunshine. I revel in your details; your button nose, long eyelashes, big lips. Like most every other morning, I question how we could have made something so perfect. I'm slow to wake, so I stay in bed with you for a while, checking in on the web, then a quick video call to tell your Daddy good morning, and show him your sweet sleeping face before shuffling to the kitchen to turn on the coffee. Your sisters are awake, rising either at the same time, or just before I do - Aria, always bubbly, my morning-self's polar opposite, and Eden - fussing about everything and nothing, as usual, my morning-self's exact duplicate. I'll pick her up and remind her, it's okay, just like every other morning. Calm and content finally, we move on to breakfast. It's usually cereal or oatmeal, by request, and that's okay with me. In a moment I hear your whining, that between-worlds cry you make when you can't decide if you're actually ready to get out of bed or not. I'll scoop you up, like every other morning for the last 19 months, and retreat to the couch for the morning nurse and cuddle.
Admittedly, there are few moments in the day where I really slow down and enjoy the moment, to be truly present. The life of a work from home mom is unglamorous, tiring, and often frustrating. I'm only human, flawed and wildly imperfect. It's not at all like I once envisioned it would be... my weeks are filled with late nights, followed by restless sleeps, days with dirty laundry and no showers, with sibling fights, with dirty kitchens, with messy rooms. But this - this moment - the one with you on the couch and those eyes, those "good morning" eyes, it's perfect. My little slice of heaven, delivered daily. For a moment I stop, breathe it in, exchanging smiles & coos before the moment passes, ever too quickly. The days are long, it's true, but the years are short. Before long you're finished and you run off to create mischief with your sisters and I'm onto that work from home grind, coffee in hand. In a couple hours, Eden will forgetfully abandon a half-eaten yogurt, again, that you'll use to finger-paint the table, chair and your tubby little tummy, again.
This used to make me so angry, but now I just smile and laugh. I can't say I do many things well in this life, but loving you babies is surely one of them. Every day you teach me that there's beauty in the mundane, and I'm slowly learning to embrace that. Maybe our days aren't pretty and polished, and maybe they never will be, but they are authentic and full of I-love-you's and I'm-sorry's and I'll-be-better-tomorrow's. As long as our time is filled with honesty, humility, and authenticity, it's just another wonderfully average day.