I got to hold both of my children until they fell asleep today. Separately. I got to listen to them breathe. To feel and appreciate their pulses as I kissed their sweet foreheads.
Those were my exquisite moments today.
I am so blessed that I get to do this every day. I quit my job 14 months ago to spend my days with my little rays of light. Leaving my job and everything I'd worked for was a terrifying but liberating introduction to a life of no regrets. This week, my family and I strap on the moon boots and make a giant leap for Metcalf kind: We're packing up the house and saying goodbye to great friends and favorite places, preparing to leave Kansas City in the rear view and start anew in our own little Mayberry.
Will and I are getting good at this diving in headfirst thing. First he and a couple friends started a nonprofit a few years ago. That was his dream, and it was a scary one. He left his stable government job for one without benefits or a steady paycheck. Then he revised and found other work that could reliably feed a family of four. That's when he let me have a turn at my dream: raising our babies full-time. He works from home, so we get to be a cozy little family every single day.
These experiments with dream catching have empowered us. Now we're leaving everything we've known for the last decade-plus and starting a new chapter in Concordia, Kan.
This is the step where we realize the dream we have for our children. To grow up minutes from grandparents and an extended family with uncles and cousins. To grow up in the kind of town that sends a "welcome wagon" to your house when you sign up for city water service.
We're living a life of no regrets, in the big sense and the small one, too. Like today, when the big stuff -- moving preparations -- became overwhelming, the kids and I hit pause to live out a smaller dream: swimming in February. We layered our bathing suits under our all-weather coats and bumbled down the road to a community rec center with an indoor splash area for kids. The half-hour we played in the water was Quinn's exquisite moment of the day. He was thrilled beyond measure with the frog slide, the tiny lazy river and the independence of swimming, life-jacketed and untethered to mom.
Our journey toward a regret-free life isn't unbridled. We have setbacks. We have frustrations. We have discouragements. But days like today remind me that we're doing the right thing in the macro sense and revive the day-to-day mission. I'm riveted by news of a gas explosion and four-alarm fire in an area close to home, so thankful that friends who live nearby are safe. I'm rocked by unrelated news that a kind-hearted childhood friend died suddenly at 31, leaving behind a husband, parents and 8-year-old daughter. I hadn't seen her in many years, yet my heart is heavy.
Days like today make you feel every breath, yours and those of loved ones. Hug tight your little sources of light, today and every day.