he holds me, tells me he’s sorry and he smells of chalk and speed stick. and i think, ‘he shouldn’t be sorry. he did nothing wrong.’

i’d pulled potatoes from ground and carrots from stem and aiden and i, we’d made footprints in the garden that morning. i’d cooked the garden in a crock pot with a roast and then trent had said, ‘we should invite grandma.’

and i didn’t want to. i was grumpy in my red-checkered shirt and blue jeans. i’d been painting. i’d smeared paint on the boys while hugging them, and now their clothes were stained.

i wanted to hug my painted boys close and be quiet. madeleine l’engle speaks of a circle of quiet but this isn’t what she meant and i know this.

so he’d invited grandma anyway. he’d asked me, and i’d said i’d rather not, and he’d invited her anyway.

he’s better, that way and i know this, and i’m becoming better for knowing him. and even as my head hurts, there’s a circle of quiet, and we find it in the space between us. and i think of my parents, married 33 years and the way they laugh at each other’s jokes.

we sit, grandma in her pink striped pants and her glasses and her white curls and aiden twirls in his painted jersey for the love of her, and our wine glasses make a clinking sound.

and this is the picture i’m painting with my life, smeared on my children, and i want it full: of color and life and guests, for the quiet will always return. the noise is in the living.

happy weekending friends… go, make footprints in the garden and smear paint on life and be noisy….