I step over the plastic shovel and cracked pail and pause to admire the front flower beds in full bloom. Little hands and big hands digging and planting together to create this beauty.
I climb the old crumbly cement porch steps littered with errant soda bottles that didn't quite make their way into the over-flowing recycling bin.
I turn the chipped gold knob of our old weathered kitchen door in desperate need of paint. Fifty-plus years of comings and goings evidenced by bits of turquoise peeking through bubbled and splintered layers of beige.
The door hinges squeak as I make my way through, greeted by a flurry of little hands and bodies dashing toward me, "Mommy's home!!"
Plaintive daughter cry of "mommy, mommy, mommy" both a request I pick her up and a scolding for leaving in the first place.
I scoop her up in my arms and feel the tension leave her little body as fragrant fruity breathe steadies, little chest rising and falling against mine.
Husband smiles a smile full of warmth and relief at my return:
Happy Friday everyone!