It's the end of another day. Asher dropped his nap a few weeks ago, and it makes the late afternoon stretch feel so long. Brian was not home tonight, and Asher missed him. I've been distracted, and he's missed me. Silas is growing up, taking more interest in how toys work and in playing with me, and we're all feeling the stretch - our time together is shaping into something different, my time is obligated differently, their time together is being renegotiated.
Time has become the most valuable currency in our home.
"I miss Daddy," Asher said tonight at bedtime. Bedtime is Brian's domain, and a series of obligations has meant that he's been gone a lot the past week. And, again, as I was tucking him into bed, he said, "I don't want to be alone. I want you to stay."
I tuck him in and walk out, thinking of how distracted I was all day, how often I sighed and snapped at Asher, how often I overlooked Silas' curiosity or dismissed his budding language. I wish I'd gotten on the floor with them this afternoon, listened to Silas talk, answered Asher's questions. I wish I hadn't been so hurried, so frustrated. I wish I'd done it better today.
Because already I feel a shift in Asher's heft, and while I can still easily lift him, it is no longer impossible to imagine a day when I won't. And every day Silas sheds a little more of that "baby" look - his legs longer, his gait smoother, than they were last month. The time we have together is short, no matter how long the five o'clock hour feels.
Tomorrow I will play more and listen better. Tomorrow I will relax. Tomorrow I will do it better.