Like most people, I have way too much going on and way too much on my mind. There are only 24 hours in a day (5-6 of which I am asleep-ish) and  somehow, I’m supposed to cram 1.5 billion things into that time.

Wake up. Mind races. Get in shower. Shovel down breakfast. Drink cold coffee. Get everyone dressed. Feed them. Pack lunches. Pack snack. Brush kids’ teeth. Pack library book. Finish decorating Valentine’s Day box. Pack Valentine’s Day box. Find boots. Heat up cold coffee. Dry hair. Break up fight with the kids. Where’s your tablet? I don’t know. Untie double knots in shoes. Put shoes on kid. Realize they are not his shoes. Find the right shoes. Let the dog out. Let the dog in. Clean up muddy paw prints. Chase dog out of kitchen. Yell at dog for eating a Ziplock bag. When’s show and tell? Is it today? Checks calendar. Yup, it’s today. Phone notification. Send important email this morning. Ugh. Forgot about that. Walks past makeshift craft space in dining room. Ugh. Such a mess. So much more to do today. Checks Google calendar. Ugh…I forgot about scouts tonight. I can’t. Runs upstairs. Brushes teeth. Grabs coat and hat. Decides to go to gym. Throws together all gym essentials. Feels bad for ignoring preschooler amidst all of this. Preschooler smiles when I look at him. Heart breaks a little. 8:27. Put on your damn gloves!!! Kindergartner’s face falls. Why did you have to swear? Because I got mad! Don’t you ever get mad?!?! Yes, mommy, but I try to control myself when I get mad. HEART SHATTERS INTO A MILLION PIECES AND EXPLODES OUT OF MY CHEST.

And like the scratch of a needle being yanked off a vinyl record, there is a very abrupt silence.

I reach out to him. I softly pull him in. His baby-soft cheek is pressed up against mine. His shoulders soften as he leans into his mother’s embrace. He knows that I know. Hot tears well up in my eyes. Every day they are there, just waiting for the right moment to dive down my cheeks and race towards my heart. It is the first time today that I have felt present in the moment. And it is a beautifully painful moment to be a part of.

“Can you try not to swear as much?” he asks me, nervously searching my face with his bright, hazel eyes.

“I shouldn’t swear at all, sweet boy.”

“Well,” he says with a casual shrug, “sometimes it’s going to happen.”

I smile at him, completely in awe of his capacity for compassion for his mother and his wisdom.

“Yes, but I swear that I will try to do better.”

Opens door. Runs out into the cold. Loads Kindergartner on bus. Watches as it drives away. Silently looks up at the sky, hoping to God that despite all of my faults and mistakes that he will grow up to be a good man.