From his bedroom at five in the morning, Tolliver, who'd been stirring for a few minutes, called out clear as the morning would dawn: I just need my milk. Except it sounded more like IJUSTNEEDMYMILK.
Waking to welcome a new day is cause enough to feel grateful, but I forgot. I forget.
We received a phone call that required a quick change of plans. Running already an hour behind, I lost Tucker, and the undergarments I had just pulled out of my drawer. Andy found him at the top of the stairs, slingshotting them to the bottom. I forget.
Having talked to Tuck about what we intended to do for the day, we described Plan B and tried to keep the promise of playground time on the agenda. We took care of business, all four of us repeatedly in and out of the car, dropping off and picking up. Tuck pointed out wet leaves on the pavement and exclaimed Look at all the beautiful colors, bright green and yellow and brown... and red, my favorite! It was as if the trees leaned in to listen to him. Hearing music, Tollie two stepped through one lobby, where, to his shy delight, an uninhibited older gentleman joined in. All day long really, despite our rush, the earth came alive around them. Shoes danced and signs waved, trees listened and cars smiled.
By early evening we made it to the playground. Both boys shed energy climbing and sliding and chasing and jumping. Afterward they shoveled chips and salsa and rice and beans into their mouths at record speed, appetites for food as insatiable as for fun.
At bedtime Tucker whispered, soft as night fell, It's a miracle. I asked him to repeat his words, and he went on, Know what Mom, know why today was a miracle? Because we got to go to the playground and have dinner at the Cowboy. And suddenly, brimming with gratitude for his simple know whys, I could think of a million more.
When life does not settle around me agreeably, when the potted flowers look defeated and dirt gets tracked in the back door, when the fuel arrow points to empty and all I want to do is sleep, the boys remind me. I'll forget to feel it everyday, but tonight I'm going to bed grateful. And tomorrow, when the world opens its front door and invites me in again, I will smile and say thanks.