Love Looks Like (12 Years)
Love looks like leaving the youngest to carry his Lightning McQueen backpack with his peanut butter and honey sandwich in it to the neighbors to enjoy a not-long-enough lunch just us two, on a sunny patio, talking about dreams big and small.
Love looks like doing the 3 pm school pick-up together, with kids more than a handful all talking in our ears at once.
Love looks like stopping for a tub of ice cream for an ice cream sundae dessert because the lemon pie didn’t get made.
Love looks like a table set by girls, with a Masai blanket table cloth, with three blue wine-bottle candles, four skittles each, and white napkins begged from the neighbors because the Cars birthday left-over ones in this house wouldn’t pass inspection by the 10 year old.
Love looks like a hand-made menu, with options of beer–hot or cold–wine–hot or cold–apple juice–hot or cold–or milk (hot or cold).
Love looks like dinner at half past seven because the boys are out riding, staying until the light is draining away, until the mountain darkens to silhouette, until the sun slips out of sight.
Love looks like an iPhone photo taken by a 9 year old, happy faces showing in the frame, all dressed up because love looks like putting on a dress, buttoning up a shirt, sitting at a table for six.
Love looks like ice cream served by a son, and daddy finishing three bowls because everyone’s eyes are bigger than their stomachs.
Love looks like parenting a youngest child, laughing instead of scolding, chasing instead of insisting, tossing through the air instead of putting in time out.
Love looks like the same words falling out of our mouths every single night: brush your teeth, wash your feet, yes, I’ll read a book.
Love looks like wrestling the 3 year old through a shower because he missed his afternoon nap and has taken to throwing fits as three builds to four.
Love looks like listening to dishes clattering from the kitchen, 9:15 and three of four still awake and dishes still dirty, laying in the little one’s bed, pulling the covers up tight against cold Meru nights.
Love looks like kisses on foreheads and I love you‘s from doorways.
Love looks like sighs of relief for another day done, crawling into bed, interlacing fingers and touching knees, love looks like 9:45 feeling like a night too late.
Love looks like dreaming.
Love looks like celebrating another ordinary day.
Love looks like an empire of six.
Love looks like dancing, at times tiptoeing, on the graves of all the selves we’ve buried beneath our feet.
Love looks like resurrection, to wake up in the morning, to start it all over again.