Here I am.
The kids are in bed, tucked in, snuggled and sleeping. I'm listening to music so beautiful my heart creaks. My husband is out walking the dog. The night has come.
This morning I was greeted with cuddles in bed, with presents at the dining table, homemade cards, more cuddles... … Yes, you guessed it. Today marked the anniversary of me being born.
I am so glad I was.
Here I am.
Sitting and crying. Crying (just a little), and overwhelmed (just a lot).
Because I am in awe of the love I have in my life.
Love from others for me. Love from me to others. So much love I don't know how I can possibly carry it all inside me. I feel like soon it will pour out of my skin, in colours you can only find in sunlight and rain.
I said to my daughter just before she fell asleep.
Do you know that I love you so much that when I wake up in the morning, I can't wait to see you? Sometimes I wake up before you, and all I want is for you to wake up, so the day can begin and I can share it with you.
She said just before she fell asleep.
Mum, sometimes I wake up and I can't tell if you're awake because your door is shut. And I want to come in and cuddle you, but I don't want to wake you. I don't want to wake you if you are tired.
(note to self: sleep with door wide open…!)
I said to my son just before he fell asleep.
I love you so much. Thank you for being my boy. I am so so glad I am your mummy. I am so glad you exist.
He said, just before he fell asleep.
I am so so glad you are my mummy. I am so glad I am your boy. You're the best mummy ever.
Every night, I feel their love pulling me, a line tugging gently, like a thread unravelling a little as I walk down the stairs, and they drift to sleep.
When the kids have gone to bed, the night stretches out in front of me, all mine. I can stay up all night if I want and no-one will ask me for anything. I can, if I want, stay up 'til 2am, writing, thinking, dreaming. Sometimes I do, and when I go to bed, I'm utterly, totally, wiped out.
But every morning, every single time I wake up, I feel the same way. I can't wait to see my boy and my girl.
I can't wait to breathe them in.
And in this moment, I feel full to overflowing with gratitude.
Because today I get to mark my existence. I get to say, Here I am.
And I am surrounded by beauty.
I am lucky to have a dog who presses his nose against my hand, and to have mangoes. Lucky to have my health, a roof, a bed, kids who make me do my loud, embarrassing laugh, and a husband who believes I can do no wrong. Lucky to have a lap for a cat and a cat for a lap. Lucky to notice that moment just after the sun has set, when everything, everything all around, is alight. Like the whole world is glowing.
Tonight, that is how I feel. Like my whole world is glowing.
I am filled with light. Lit from within.
And all my colours are pouring out.