While he finishes up in the shower, I ready his bedroom. Gathering discarded pieces of laundry, closing dresser drawers left open in haste, smoothing the blankets over the bed. I turn on the soft light and off the harsh overhead, plump the reading pillow on the floor and he turns the water off, slips his arms into his bathrobe, and joins me to pull on clean pajamas.
He leans deeply into the flannel-covered reading pillow, takes a long drag from his full, cold water bottle, and starts to read. From my spot up on the bed, I am close enough to smell the citrus and mint from his freshly washed hair, slicked back and tucked behind his ears. The sweet shimmer in his blue eyes, the fullness of his lips, the smooth curve of his cheeks almost takes my breath away.
I don’t know how to write about this without sounding like I am romanticizing our life. The truth is, of course, that the days are stressful, fraught with deadlines and arguments and struggles. Often, the evenings are, too. A shout from him that I’m shampooing too roughly. Or a nag from me that he’s taking too long to get his clothes off and his teeth flossed. But then there are the nights, pale light barely reaching the farthest corners of the room and I close my eyes, listening to him sound out words, make up voices for characters, giggle at lines meant for a seven-year-old’s sense of humor.
We are so fucking lucky. We did nothing to deserve this perfect moment and yet, here it is.
This photo showed up on my feed this afternoon, reminding me that I have been thinking about this for years, always yearning to capture it in some way – to recognize the grace we’ve been given, hoping that marking it will sustain me through the moments when the light is harsh, the wind is fierce, and it’s all just trying to make it from one day to the next.