Last night, I stared up at the ceiling of a salon and imagined an expanse of stars spreading out like a blanket over the ocean sky.
Tonight, I scraped ricotta and marinara from Evaline’s dinner tray and thought of the nights ahead of me without any dishes to clear or dinners to prepare.
I have spent the past several days in anticipation, like an elementary school student staring at the final week of the school calendar. Almost. Free.
We are two nights away from celebrating our 10th anniversary, (a few months early), on a ship and in a place that feels like it might as well be a million miles away from ordinary.
Today, was ordinary.
Today was Alex to the bus stop, Lila asking if she could do her own hair, Asher falling asleep in his car seat and Evie smashing crackers to a fine grain on her bedroom carpet.
Today, the first pair of Underoo’s Asher slid past his Flintstone feet and up to his pudgy little bottom, are the same ones that we took off and put in the hamper tonight.
Today was accident free.
Today, Alex flipped through the pages of a seven dollar magicians coloring book and predicted his weekend would be wild and crazy. He went on to predict Lila’s would be boring, Evaline’s would be busy, and Asher’s would be all of the above. Somehow, I don’t doubt his magician’s intuition.
Today was magic.
Today, I fed them and cleaned their plates, played Simon Says and Kinect Sports and then tucked my children in, all four at once, and they stayed in their beds.
Today was triumphant.
On this upcoming vacation, I will make a hundred memories with my husband and our friends. I will relish every single kid-free moment – every morning I am not awoken by a child asking for instructions on how to work the TV remote or to see if I can read the pun on their Gogurt – every afternoon that I am not sweeping tracks of dirt from the path between my front door and the kitchen – every load of laundry that I am not washing. I will tip well the servers who bring me my dinners then take my mess away, the servers who will leave monkey shaped towel animals on my bed.
But I will also know, no day at sea will ever be as ordinary – or as magical and amazing and triumphant – as the ones I am coming home to.
How blessed am I to have happiness with me, no matter if I’m sitting on the sands of a tropical beach with the man I love or if I’m playing Simon Says in my kitchen with three pajama-clad children and a baby on my hip.