still

It’s Sunday afternoon and the house is still. The curtains are slowly swaying in the soft breeze and the chatter of golf in the living room eagerly competes with the Paper Kites for my attention. It’s quietly noisy, still, and I suppose, rather peaceful in the sense that there are only the two of us here. The kids are at their dad’s this weekend which means there is no one asking what’s for dinner and there isn’t anyone in need of a ride. There is no one to ask if their homework is all done and no one is rushing to get their laundry started before someone else begins another load. I can walk around naked should I choose to. 

The house is still.

After seven years, the empty weekends don’t feel like they did in the beginning. Big, hollow spaces of time that threaten to smother me with their loud-quiet nothingness. Now they’re just quiet and still and rather than feel suffocated, I find myself at peace. It’s taken a long time to get here but I am thankful for the journey and grateful to have finally arrived. The scars I’ve collected on my way serve as a reminder that learning to live in this new season of life hasn’t been in vain. 

The house is still.

It’s easy to take the long days, that feel more like 37 hours rather than 24, for granted when you get to have them every single day. You easily lose sight of the fact you are witnessing almost every moment of their lives because it’s just what you get to do. I was unprepared for the immediate, cruel void that took hold of my entire being when I was no longer with them every waking moment. I was broken and lost in their absence. 

The house is still.

I have worked hard to heal myself from a wounded woman wrapped up in shame to one who continues to show her children that a brave woman is one who lives authentically as herself. They have seen me fail and they have seen me pick myself back up again. They have seen me struggle and they have watched me take chances that have launched us into a better place. I am honest and real with them about who I am and one day they will look back and see a woman who never gave up on herself, or them. They will see a woman who finally knows peace.

The house is still.

They will be home on Wednesday and we will once again adjust to the chaos that engulfs our home in one single swoop. The house will be loud and full and busy once again. We will take kids to and from school, shuffle them to practices, tell them what’s for dinner, remind them to empty their trash and pick up their rooms, break up mindless bickering and tuck them into bed at night. The house, no longer still, but instead peaceful in the chaotic balance of life that is them.

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