She hands me her stapled construction paper book, “I wrote this for you while you were in Africa.”
I pull her into my lap and breathe in soap and cheerios. I tickle and she throws back her head so I can reach the tender spot under her neck. I’m not always good at pausing and capturing these little moments. But sometimes I am.
Scrawled across the top in big red crayon letters it reads, “My Floyin Hosur.” It’s a book about a flying horse, she explains and then reads it to me, carefully turning pages and pointing out pieces of the story.
I can see baskets of unfolded clothes in the laundry room from this spot in the kitchen and piles of papers on the counter. Dinner is still a big question mark and my to do list is on it’s second page. But there’s not another place in the world I’d rather be.
Because sometimes you have to leave and return to realize what you missed and where you belong.
My son jokes, “I sure could use one of those hosurs right now.” I threaten a scowl and he smiles, patting his sister’s head until she is proud of her work again. My oldest rummages through the snack basket, catching my eye, then asking the little author to read to her next.
We munch on tacos for dinner and read a chapter from Wild Grace. My kids each do hilarious impersonations of Sweet Georgia Brown and I giggle until I have a sharp pain in my side. They play Knockout with their Dad in our driveway, while I sit in the grass and watch my youngest try out her garage sale roller skates. We end the night with a walk around the block, spontaneously holding hands and touching.
It’s a peaceful night of love and laughter, sometimes a rarity in my rambunctious, hormonal offspring and crazy-busy world. Sometimes I’m not good at acknowledging it. Sometimes I am.
I have the opportunity to write, travel and speak throughout the country. I have the priviledge of encouraging mothers here and supporting mothers in Kenya, and sometimes it may seem glamorous or extraordinary. But mostly it’s hard, uncomfortable work for me.
I don’t know how to lead a non-profit, raise a million dollars or write a 3 year plan, but I know how to nourish a baby with my body, kiss a scraped knee, fit my child in the curve of my arm, read a dirty look or touch the heart of my wounded child.
Motherhood is my job.I am paid in love notes and a quiet thank you over a puke bowl. The hours are long and the work is risky, but it is a high calling. Some days it’s harder than all my previous jobs lumped together…
But there’s nothing like coming home.
Not even floyin hosurs could drag me away.