today I will consider my blessings

Things I am grateful for today:

Emmie, who loves her paci so.  I always put her down in her crib with one already in her mouth.  She searches around for one of the extras I leave at various spots in her bed, just in case.  She grabs it and clings to it with her left hand, puts her cheek against her sheet, and closes her eyes.  I want to cover her in kisses or devour her but that would wake her up.  I tiptoe out of the room instead.

Windows flung open to a glorious morning.  Coffee with cream and vanilla right next to me.  Red and orange chrysanthemums in an empty baby food jar at my elbow.  Beauty and peace in the smallest of things.

Lucy, who has spent the last 2 months sleeping in our room while we attempt to teach the baby to sleep through the night (this is not going well).  I snuggle up with her in my bed each evening.  We read, pray, sing, get a drink of water, talk about what tomorrow will bring, list 8 things for her to think about while she falls asleep, pinkie promise that I’ll come check on her after I make lunches, pinkie promise that she’ll close her eyes while she waits.  She’s usually out within 3 minutes, long before lunches are packed.  When Elijah and I tiptoe into our room a few hours later we move her onto a pile of blankets and pillows on the floor.  Our bed is warm where her sweet body lay heavy and peaceful and it smells like Lucy.

Tomatoes that insist on growing even though I’ve given up on watering the garden for the year and it hasn’t rained in weeks and we’re a third of the way into November.  Delicious miracles, each tiny yellow globe.

Sophie, who is so tall that I can rest my chin on her head when we stand and pray each night, who loves to pick up Emmie and wears sequined knee socks with her school clothes and works so concientiously that her handwriting is better than mine.  She joyfully plunks out songs on the piano and she folds her legs up under her to read on the couch and she notices beauty.  She is beauty.

A stack of books on the bedside table waiting to be picked up, opened, investigated, learned from.  Insisting that I close social media, put the phone away, quiet all those other voices.  Hear something worth listening to, listen to something worth hearing.

Aida, her body so full of energy, ideas, power that she doesn’t know what to do with - yet.  She chases Lucy through the house, out back and around to the front, her braid swinging behind her.  She pretends she doesn’t need it but she craves physical touch, a hand held, a head stroked.  She sits cross-legged on the floor of her room, plunking out melodies on her guitar.  She kicks soccer balls at the fence and everything she does brims with intensity. She is so interested.  She is so interesting.

A refrigerator full of food.  This is a gift I do not take lightly.

Elijah, who never notices the baby toys on the floor and then surprises us all with candied pecans for our salad when we burst through the front door after guitar lessons and it’s dinner time.  He is creative, and thoughtful, and funny.  His musical tastes are intriguing and he makes waffles on Saturday mornings.  Sometimes when I’m with him, I remember who I used to be.  Sometimes when I’m with him, I think about who I might become.

A deep breath.  And then another.  And then another.