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We leave the house now. All six of us together like we know our shit. Like we have this thing down to a song. Not a science but a song. Where everyone is jumping up and down and bumping into each other, but to the same beat. After sixteen months we are dancing to the same beat. 
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We go to museums and libraries and parks and without making plans or assigning roles we just do it like nike. We make it work. We lose each other and find each other and check out books and go down slides and eat sand and pull sand out of mouths and spill water all over everything and press our faces against windows. We teach and argue and hold hands until we have to let go and pair off because we're too big to fit through doorways. 
You first. Then you. Then us. 
I missed the view. I missed watching him and watching her and watching us in the reflective glass of skyscrapers and elevators in the city I love. And here we are. We're back. All of that time worrying we'd never leave the house again and we're out and running and falling and losing our minds and each other. Wild and tame and off leash with meeting places in case we get lost. 
Last weekend and the weekend before that and the weekend before that we ran around this city like it was ours. We lived off trail mix and string cheese and coffee carts, changed diapers in the back of the van, refilled water bottles at drinking fountains, left sweaters at the park. We existed in the place we used to when we'd set out on secret missions to pick up bandaids and milk. 

Sometimes I forget that life is beautiful only because it's a mess. Because it's stained and there is shit on every shoe and time is always running out. Aspiration versus inspiration is the name of every game. Do I want to be more like something else or do I want to show the world, my kids, myself, I rock exactly as I am. The more time I collect in my book of hours, the more I want to be exactly this. And when I don't? When I fool myself with illusions? When I tease myself with nostalgia? When my eyes wander outside windows and into the laps of strangers, I remind myself that THIS IS MY LENS. This is my life. This is everything.
This moment in time will forever be remembered as the time we slept and woke with clear eyes. Not every day but some of them. Some mornings we wake up and the music is on and everyone is moving and here we go, raise the roof, Macarena. 
So I snap away trying to record it all before it gets lost. I write it down in case I forget. I make notes and stick them all over everything - frame by frame, a collection of this right here right now. I watch them watch and I sew squares into the quilt that is my story and then I wrap myself up in it and I breathe. 
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Because it is exactly what it is, this life and I get to be here, forgetting the wipes and having to soak paper towels in the sink while cursing. I get to be here, watching my children hold hands and snake through the library. I get to be here, in the front of the van, surrounded by the light at the end of the tunnel. The light that everyone told me would arrive - the exhale that would find its way out through my nose. 
Rhythm and Blues is what I used to call them like I knew this day would come. They're playing our song, I think. They're playing our song over and over and we got the beat, we got the beat, we got the beat.
IMG_4966 yeah.



Anonymous | 11:48 AM

I needed to read this today. Thank you.

Feministy | 2:07 PM

I have a five-year-old daughter and six-month-old twins and a full-time job and lots pf other challenging hyphens and I'm really lad to hear that, at some point in the not-too-distant future, I might be able to breathe a little more...

sam | 4:36 PM

I want to kiss you! You don't know how bad I needed that. I have a very needy 4 month old and a very neglected 4 year old and I feel like we'll never get our of this craze that is babyhood... It's all consuming and confining and aaahhhh... I so needed to read this.

I love your words, reading your experiences, and your family. On point, always!

Thank you for writing!!!

Alexis | 10:23 PM

There are only a few writers I read that can make me tear up on a regular basis,and you are one of them. Your words move me. Thank you.

MC | 1:16 AM

This is so right on and beautiful. I needed it today. I only have two, but my little is 18 months and we're finally (maybe) hitting our groove, for now. The right now groovy groove. It's good. Thank you for the reminder to soak it all in and get it all out in the world.

Anonymous | 10:05 PM

Yaaaaa! We got the beat!

MeredithK82 | 7:13 PM

Wow. Just wow.

alysonlaurel | 10:46 AM

Really really needed this today. It's nice to be reminded, too, that the light at the end of the tunnel is relative. I feel like I have so far to go, but things are so much EASIER than they were last May when my daughter was first born. Nice to think about how today is the day to appreciate and be grateful for and enjoy. Thank you!