My eyes snap open. My nine-year-old starts his day asking Alexa how to build Lego structures.
“MOM, I NEED TO EAT.” My four-year-old shouts.
My head sinks into my pillow. I sigh, a deep billow released.
The day trudges on like the one before and the one before and the one before.
I’m a statue at the kitchen sink, water streaming out the faucet. Sun from the window glows around my face as I stare into nothing. Unblinking, I remember a world before a virus shut it down. A world before responsibilities clung to me like stones. A world safe and full of potential.
Later, I focus in front of my laptop, working. I try to collect my thoughts, but they spill onto the floor. The kids bang and scream in a whirlwind around the house. My head thumps onto my desk. I squeeze my eyes shut.
Ten o’ clock and I finally unwind in bed. In the coolness of my basement lair, tension unfurls from my body. A silent hummurmurs around the house.
Clunk, clunk, clunk. My forehead wrinkles. It thuds in double now.
Two little bodies slink into bed with me. Thin, long limbs wrap around mine. A head wrests on my shoulder, another on my stomach.
“I’m Mom-mom’s baby,” my four-year-old coos.
“Mommy, I’m cold,” my nine-year-old quivers as he absorbs into me.
Warmth envelops me. Snuggled with my cubs, I smile.