This week marks spring/midterm break for me, and it’s a welcome pause from the crazy pace of the semester. The sunshine has delivered a perfect dose of spring fever this past few days, and I’m grateful for the boost it gives.
Most of my time has been with Norah as she’s out with me this week, and Jude is still in school all day. (He won’t get his spring break until April when I’m in the midst of the final push of the semester.) Monday, she and I spent almost the entire day outside – the backyard and then the neighborhood playground and then back home to eat lunch and head back outside to the patio again. Tuesday was a few errands, and then today I took her to get her hair trimmed, and we managed to accomplish a few things around the house.
She’s getting older and more verbal and observant. So much imaginary play at this age, and it’s a treat to listen to her get lost in her own stories. There’s a lot to be shared between mother and daughter and a very specific connection that is already different from anything else in my life. I’m excited to see what the future holds – and most of all, just grateful to have her company, now and always.
Spring is coming, and I’m ready for it. I’m approaching the one-year mark of moving into this house (early April), and it feels like home in every sense. The pops and creaks on a particular floorboard in the kitchen, the slant of the sunlight through the back glass doors in the mornings and through the playroom window in the afternoon, the familiar tones of neighborhood voices we’ve come to know and recognize. I remember so well the sheer exhaustion amidst the overwhelming process of moving here, what felt like countless obstacles and unknown territory in my way. But underneath it, I felt such a sense of gratitude for this little place. I’m determined to keep those gratitude filters on as I look around me in the next year. Sometimes the farther you get from a gift, the more you forget it’s miraculousness.
I was remarking to a friend recently that the line from Dear Sugar when she refers to the lives we don’t lead as the “ghost ship that didn’t carry us” keeps running through my mind these days. That ship is getting farther and farther from my shore, and its outline is fuzzy. I don’t know what I’d be doing right now if I was on a different path, but I know for certain that I wouldn’t be in this house, nestled between these two warm bodies breathing like an ocean in my ears with the weight of the dog on my feet. I wouldn’t be writing this sentence. I wouldn’t be leading this life.
Jumping from that ship can feel like the scariest thing you’ve ever done. But when you are standing on the other shore much later, grounded in the new life that followed, you wonder how anything but this ever felt like home.