I am the first to wake in our quiet house. I sit alone in the kitchen and drink in the miracle that is this life of mine. Sunlight streams through the kitchen windows and plays with the plants until they are green and gold and silver all at once. The light stripes the counter, too, and my hands as I write. The cats have deemed themselves sufficiently scratched and gone off to explore the world. My tea is ready: chai today, milky and spicy and warm. Soon it will be cool enough to sip. I am surrounded by Saturday’s detritus; in an hour it will be mess that must be tidied, but before anyone else wakes it is memories – books, a board game, a crochet project, a coat tossed on the floor because the weather was too warm.
Eric wakes next, shuffling into the kitchen, cocooned in a soft brown blanket, his tousled blond hair poking out from the top. “Good morning, Mama,” he sighs as he leans his warm body into me. I inhale his scent, leftover from yesterday’s play: dirt and sweat and something youthful that will soon disappear. In the quiet, he allows me to kiss his neck and the top of his head, content for a moment to be mine. Then he shuffles off to his own quiet space.
Above me, I hear the creaks and steps that mean Andre is awake. I can guess at what he’s doing from the way he moves, now making the bed, now choosing his clothes. There is the sound of running water from the sink. In another minute, or maybe two, this morning quiet will end. The cats are already at the sliding glass door, wanting to come in. There is breakfast to make and groceries to buy, schoolwork to complete and bedrooms to clean. Quiet doesn’t linger long in this house.
I take my first sip of tea and savour the way the spices come together before I swallow it down.