Where I’ve Needed to Be

It’s all in how you look at it.

I haven’t been here lately.

I’ve been busy warming apple cider for my old daughter to take on her forty-minute drive to cheerleading practice. I found the biggest jug of cider in town, and she downed it in two days. I’ll go out and buy more before the day is out.

I’ve brought my younger daughter toasted bagels and tea in the morning, and more tea later on while she laboured over an essay for her Grade Eleven English class.

I’ve wiped down the trim, swept, vacuumed and washed the floors. I scrubbed the mug rings from the wooden table in the front hall, and polished it to a shine. That’s big! It only happens about once every ten years.

I sat in my kitchen with my dad, enjoying a steaming cup of coffee late on a cold January morning. He’d come over to take down our outdoor Christmas lights, knowing how busy we are with work-and-school-and-life. He’d carefully wound them onto their reels, weeding out the broken ones, and stacked them in the garage in boxes. I probably would have left them there ’til May.

I’ve separated the laundry into lights, darks and in-between, turned countless socks right side out and matched them to their partners, transferred endless loads of laundry from the washer to the dryer to the line to the closets and drawers.

I’ve made apple-and-pear crisp from scratch, let it simmer in the slow cooker overnight. When we all wake up in the morning, and one after another made our way down the curved staircase to the kitchen, we were met with the smell of mulled fruit and cinnamon.

And of course, I’ve put in many hours in at my desk, reading, analyzing, drafting, revising and polishing whatever’s been required – contracts, policies, trade-mark reports.

So I haven’t been here, lately. But I’ve been present, and I’ve been happy. I’ve chosen to do the important things, and to spend time with the people who mean the most to me. So the words? They don’t always wait: I know that. And these words I’ve written today aren’t perfect, and that’s okay too. But I am here now, in this ten minute window between welcoming my daughter home from her cheerleading practice, making sure she gets a hot meal, checking the clothes in the dryer and settling back at my computer to get my legal work done.  She’s pulling in the driveway now….

I haven’t been here, but I’ve been where I’ve needed to be.