Last night, Grace and I went to the library for a rare evening trip while Allie and Joe stayed home to make dinner.
We found a comfy spot on the floor in the back corner of the children's room, and we read book after book aloud together. We peeked behind flaps; we giggled at pictures. We languished over pages that we'd normally scan to appease Allie's short attention span.
While we read, an old friend came into the children's room.
Jill was one of the teachers in the daycare Grace attended until she was three. She is a soft-spoken and kind-hearted woman who's about my age.
When I found out that I was (unexpectedly) pregnant in the spring of last year, Jill lent an ear. When the daycare raised its rates dramatically, she listened and comforted me (even though she must have been worried about her own job).
Although we're Facebook friends, the last time I saw Jill in person, I was in the first trimester of my pregnancy and not at all happy about the situation.
One of the first things she said when she saw us sitting on the floor was, "Oh, wow! You look great!"
Obviously, she didn't notice the five pounds I've picked up since my birthday. I didn't bring it up, either.
"How do you like staying at home?" she asked.
I told her that I love it, staying away from the bipolar stuff and the hospitalization. I do love it.
Catching up with a friend in person is just not the same as catching up on Facebook. Jill and I chatted for a half hour or more.
Just before she left, she turned around and said, "I just can't get over how happy you look! The reading, the giggling, everything. You just look so happy. I'm so happy for you!"
I smiled a big smile back at her.
I am happy.
I am really happy.
No matter how many poopy butts I have to wipe in the course of a day, no matter how many times I have to clean up theÃ‚ doll house furniture or the markers or the crayons from all over the living room, no matter what time I finally get to bed at night, I am happy. I am happy and content and thankful and satisfied with this life I've been given.
It's not without challenges, but it's a good one.