August 17, 2009

Two Roads Divirged

There are two new characters in the story. It was not the exact way I had envisioned it; there wasn't a red wagon. That was the only part that was missing, though.

The routine had become just that- a daily set of motions that were more or less followed. My alarm startles me to consciousness. One or both of us mumbles an "I love you." I stumble to the bathroom, and emerge with better hair and some makeup. I hear him calling me from the bed. He says he is checking to make sure I'm still here. He does this daily. I drive to work and wade through the morning time. Lunch hours are too fast. The afternoons drip like the last of a syrup bottle, and then finally, I am home, and the day can actually begin.

Suddenly, I awake to the alarm and tiptoe past a room with foldout couches- I don't want to make too much noise. He gets up early this time. He fills sippy cups with juice, pours cereal into bowls. I sit on the edge of the room on the floor and watch. There are kids in the house. I don't remember what to do with kids. I don't remember what to say. I can't be anything they need.

I didn't sleep that first night. I stayed up, sitting in a recliner, curled up with my laptop. I considered this change, and wished I could cry for some release. Instead, I typed and thought. I went to work that morning to be greeted by a tech telling me I was late. I'm a secretary for a doctor, and I missed the doctor's meeting. I threw my purse down, ran the length of hallway with colored flags sticking out, and turned the corner to her office. When I got back to my desk, I decided that this day was already worthless and it was time for bed.

But when I got home for lunch, I found two slightly wilted flowers in a plastic cup. Chase and Ayden had picked them for me. So I sat a little closer in the room, and I talked a little more. By the end of the day, we had giggled, we had tickled, and we had Ring Around the Rosy-ed. On the drive home, Ayden pointed out shooting stars. Chase found one to wish on. He didn't tell me his wish, and I didn't tell him mine.

And somehow, after that, there was some sort of glue that sealed everything. They reached for my hand without me asking. They hugged me when I got home from work. They asked to cuddle with me before bed. Ayden's head tucked into me while they watched animated movies in their pajamas. Chase told me I should marry Daddy. And when Ayden's little knock on the bedroom door was for me, I knew it was going to be much harder than I thought to say goodbye.

They hugged me one more time and tromped down the stairs with Sky. The house was still. I could hear the clock ticking in the kitchen. I looked around at the floor strewn with toys. I looked at the messes in the kitchen. For a while, I debated on cleaning it up. And when I went out that morning to buy a dress to wear to a wedding, I heard a little kid's voice in the next aisle over. My first reaction was to turn the corner, wondering how they'd gotten away from me. It took me a second to realize I wasn't watching them.

One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite shows goes like this, "That's the thing about needs. Sometimes when you get them met, you don't need them anymore." But maybe the opposite is true as well. Maybe when you get a need met, you realize that it was a need. I didn't go through my days with a list of reasons why I needed to reach down for a little hug. I wasn't aching to buy juice or find more pillows or carry someone around a store at the mall. To be one hundred million percent honest, Chase and Ayden were part of the package deal that Sky came with, but I had no idea if I could be what they need. And maybe I'm not. But they filled up places in me that were somehow empty. I want this now.

And the quick side note: through a series of broken secrets and whispers, Sky and I were able to talk about what we want someday. There isn't a road map drawn up with points to stop and start. I'm sure there will be detours, because that's how life is. It'll be beautiful to watch from the passenger side window.

When it comes down to it, that's the best part of life. Because I didn't plan to meet Sky in Flora when he came home on leave that week in March. I didn't know that I would instantly feel so much for him. I never would have guessed I'd spend months waiting for a boy from a weekend. I never thought I'd share a home with him and two children. And had anyone told me a tenth of this, I wouldn't have believed them. But, I suppose, I took the road less traveled by. It is why I am happy. It's why I long to buy a red wagon.

It has made all the difference.

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