Though I don’t often have my daughters on the weekends, I thought I was going to have the long holiday weekend with them. As it turned out, due to a communication fail, their dad had had the same plan – to spend four days with the girls.  Since I do have a lot of time with them, especially in the summer, I told him he should go ahead with his plans to take the girls away for the weekend.

Balancing home and work can sometimes be a lot, particularly in the summer when the girls are out of school and they live with me five days a week. I had been feeling stretched a bit thinly as we eased our way into a summer routine.

Suddenly, I found myself completely free of responsibility for four days – no work, no children.

I’m not going to lie, having that span of time unexpectedly laid out before me, to do with as I pleased, felt like a truly decadent gift.

I didn’t do much. I spent some time with family and friends. I sat on a beach, and I laid in a hammock in the woods. I lingered over coffee while being delightfully visited by hummingbirds on my front porch.

There was a lot of quiet.

Sometimes I really love, even crave, the quiet…

BUT, my God…

When those elegant little arms swept around my neck this afternoon…

When I heard the words, “Mommy, I missed you so much!”

When I looked at my children and felt as if they’d each impossibly grown taller during our four days apart…

When they were bursting with stories about what they’d seen and learned…

I couldn’t stop pulling them close.

I compulsively peppered their foreheads and cheeks with kisses, repeatedly brushing the hair away from their eyes so I could stare at how beautiful they are.

I told them over and over how much I love them.

They are my heart.

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