I woke up this morning (as I have each morning for the past week or so) wedged between my two kids in bed. Pete's in there too, barely hanging on to his piece of real estate.
Four across in a king – with two of us around six feet tall – the other two gaining fast.
Lupine refers to my position in this family squeeze chute as "Snuggle Jail".
With a kid on each side, snuggled in as close as can be.
My dad was that parent when I was small.
It was his side of the bed that my sister and I climbed in on when we woke scared in the darkness.
Where we knew open arms would greet us to chase away the shadows.
And now it's my turn.
When I wake up in Snuggle Jail I wake simultaneously grateful, sore, and cranky.
Grateful to have these people around me to hold so close. Grateful for the safety our family, our home, and our bed provides.
Sore because I haven't rolled over for hours and my back objects to this arrangement. Loudly.
And cranky because it's impossible to extract myself without waking everyone in the room and that means I don't have my quiet half-hour of writing and tea-drinking time in the morning.
Which I love.
And which I kind of need.
It's my anchor. My bookend. My start-up.
My one solo moment of the day.
I have three sweet people who love me, need me, and want to snuggle on me.
One of whom I've know since the tender pink-haired age of twenty-one; the others since they took in their first perfect breath of air and gazed up at me with their knowing eyes, right there in our living room.
Life could be so much worse and I'm hard-pressed to think of many ways to make it better.
So let's reach for gratitude and get on with the rest.
It's a busy time over here.
We're learning a new rhythm of farm chores with the arrival of the cold.
We're reluctantly abandoning some of the projects on our to-do-list until next year. (Because, no, I can't plan these iris bulbs in frozen ground, and no, Pete won't be climbing on the roof to fix the chimney so we can put in a wood stove.)
We're taking long walks, looking for tracks in the woods, and then coming home to gather and homeschool around this old kitchen table.
We're taking it day-by-day.
Because it's the only way we know.
And even if we're out of milk and the chickens have hidden all of the eggs, we've got soup we can eat for breakfast.
And even if it's cold and windy out there today, we just stood together in silence and watched in awe as a coyote hunted a mouse down by the creek.
And even if I woke up wedged in Snuggle Jail I can't think of three people I'd rather be in this lovey-lock down with than these.
Yes. I'm shaking off the last of the negative and diving into all that is good.
Because really, it's more than I could ever hold in my hands.