I do most of my work from the corner of the couch in the living room. My antique heirloom secretary desk is open more to serve as a resting place for my coffee than a work surface. The chair is low and wobbly and the causes my wrists to be at an awful angle while typing, so I sit next to it, facing out into the open room that serves as a living room and playroom all at once.
Growing families in little houses always overlap like that.
From where I sit, with my IKEA lap desk and my power cord that just barely reaches my laptop, I have the perfect view of the foyer, just beyond the front door to the old decorative window we frosted over when our old neighbor talked about watching our little family through it from his upstairs hall window. (He was harmless, but some of the people who visited him were not.)
There, under the window, are four coat hooks screwed deep into the apron. The plaster walls can't hold much weight so this became the ideal landing spot for our family's coats and things hangable, first as a couple, then as a trio, and now in our stasis as a foursome. Each person has their own hook, the kids' accouterments flanked by the adults' things, creating nearly a frame.
This week, that view changed ever so slightly, and it was not even twenty-four hours before my heart began to fissure with every glimpse up from my screen to the wall beyond.
I have been excited all summer for this development, for the impending two hours of freedom four days a week while she will go to her morning classes and he will be in all-day preschool just up the street. I have given the questioning eyebrow to the other moms in my life facing the beginning of the school year with choked back sobs and wistful memories because dude, what? be excited for them! they're excited, this is school, and school is awesome mostly and plus OMG FREEDOM WHY ARE YOU SO SAD STOP IT.
And without a wisp of remorse I took the kids shopping and found an adequate bookbag for Tova, caving at the pinkness of it because it was the right size and had stars and she seemed to love it without giant characters or lights (seriously, light up bookbags what?) or other meh decorations considered "feminine" and I barely hesitated at telling Kiedis no, he didn't need a new bookbag despite him picking out a similar bag with stars and pink on it and the small sense of pride swelling at my gender queer babies because his current one barely has a sign of wear and tear on it, so it's fine.
I nearly gleefully found my silver Sharpie and wrote their names inside, only hesitating slightly at the lack of symmetry in my scrawl for her because I'm so used to writing out Kiedis' full name that I misjudged where to start hers, which is two letters shorter. I hung them back up on their respective hooks and brushed my hands together, finished with this task on my milestone to-do list.
And yet, with every glance since, my heart has shown its truer colors, catching in my throat a little with every gleeful chirp of shkewl! from my baby's lips.
She is ready, I know this. She will benefit greatly and her enthusiasm to finally be joining the echelon to which her brother already belongs is contagious. She is bright and curious and social and a ray of sun, already familiar with her new teachers and yet to show an ounce of hesitation at being away from me.
But I, I will miss her.