Chris worked late last night, so I picked up the ladies from school, and we went home. As I chopped cucumbers and carrots to dip in salad dressing (for those who didn't want asparagus) the girls colored and did homework, asking me how to spell words and telling me about school that day. Once that was done, they ran outside to ride their bikes in the crisp evening, raking leaves at the neighbor's house and jumping in the pile. They came back in as it got dark, and sat down for dinner, washed their hands with no complaints and no faking and tummies growling from hunger and the smell of roasted turkey that filled the kitchen. The three of us ate dinner together and chatted some more. After dinner, we baked cookies and played chess until it was t.v.time. At bedtime, Abby and I did our nighttime ritual of my stroking her face (but only me, because daddy doesn't do it right) until she drifted off to sleep. I tiptoed in Riley's room, kissed her goodnight, and went downstairs. I snuggled up with Chris and watched "SVU" and we called it a night.
I know not all days can go like this, but it reminded me of when I was a little kid and how my house used to be. I was a happy kid and I want that for the girls. When they're with us, I want them to know that they're at HOME. Where we cook dinner and bake stuff and eat together and we have bedtime rituals and family time and stuff we do to make their little lives less hectic and more stable. Sometimes it may take a little more frustration and patience than I have at that moment, but it's important enough to me to keep trying. Days like yesterday remind me that it's all worth it in the end.