The books torn or water logged from regular mid morning spills. Shoes mismatched. With one floating in leftover bathwater and the other one flung into the bushes beneath the front widow where all good things go to die.
A laptop paused to a post a new recipe highjacked to refresh the video on simple drone construction. Two golden rings missing from a ceramic jewelry hand. Three records broken. One bag of chips in the pantry you stocked two days ago now all that remains.
Everyday I watch all corners of my sparse and muted bedroom become a candy colored wasteland of disagreed toys pepped with gum wrappers and action figures welding weapons strewn around the floor, hot wheels hidden in the sheets when I turn in. Tiny crumbs on my pillow where I rest my head. Where I make the rounds picking up and putting away pieces of their boy hood eclipsing corners of my womanhood. Cursing the small crack in my perfume. Begrudging the chocolate they found and devoured before I even had the chance. Fantasizing about long baths without the wild limbed baby taking note and climbing in.
What's ours is theirs. The unwritten rule of motherhood we come to accept because in reality we wouldn't have it any other way. And I suppose we know (behind what frustrations these fleeting days come to ignite) that a quiet clean house awaits us down the line, at the end of it all. When they've grown and gone and there's little left to pick up then except our selfs, and maybe a few of those old folded interests we clung to in the younger days of youth, days before they arrived to clutter up and change the game (and our hearts) for good.
Photo by Kristin Rogers, nine months pregnant with Hayes.