These are things that happen when I circle back into this present that is mine: sunburn on unaccustomed cheeks; blisters on my palms after an afternoon in leather gloves raking lawn debris; the unexpected delirium of forsythia and daffodils; bumblebees; wet marks on my knees from kneeling to look among the clover.

I cannot help myself: I slip into a neighbor’s yard and pluck a handful of daffodils, carrying them in a closed warm fist up the drive, pulling the boys behind me in the red wagon with the other. I grin secretively the whole way. I smile rinsing dishes; but am near to tears when the red-winged blackbird swoops low across my path. These ordinary things stun me. The way my life folds back around me, and this is where I am: in the thick of spring, at the end of a dirt road, with a restless cat, two boys, and a writing deadline waiting for the evening.

All day the sky was blue; all day it was just me and them; two changeable constants. Mood swings, bare bellied tickles, cookies and milk, sand at the backdoor. Five loads of laundry; sun dappled sheets; jumping on the bed; exercise.

It will be this way all week: just me and them the sky. T is out of town on a business trip so it will be us, making the best of allergies and hilarity; less urgency, but no less full throttle: “look mommy, look! Did you see, did you see?” So this is what I’ve been missing.