There are some mornings that require me to leave the house early–maybe while the girls are still at the breakfast table. Harder yet, maybe while they’re just waking, brushing that first bit of sleep out of their eyes, coming to me all heavy-lidded and ratty-haired, warm and dreamy, searching for long morning cuddles when all I can offer is a quick kiss before I snatch my laptop bag and race out the door.
Sometimes, those are the same days where I come home when the kids are already scrubbed, fed, ready for a story and sleep.
We make the most of that time before bed, of course, and then I send them to sleep. Those days are hard, but not unmanageable.
And then I see the pile on the floor–the worn, crumpled, clothes of the day that haven’t made it to the hamper (surprise).
It strikes me profoundly: I never saw them in these outfits. I didn’t know Sage was wearing the Pavement tee that Nate loves to put her in over a long-sleeved white tee. I didn’t know Thalia was in her favorite dress over jeans. Did she tie the tie at the front? The back? Did she get the buttons done by herself? Did she have her socks under her jeans? Did she do a little twirl in the mirror, cocking her head in that cute way she does when she likes how she looks?
I fight back the tears.
Anyone else would just see a pile of clothes on the floor. I see a strange and tangible reminder of a whole day of their lives I missed.