I was complaining about the dishes. The sink is always full, the dishwasher never empty and those sippy cups? What a pain they are to dismantle. Tumbling cups and plastic bowls, they take up at least one shelf of every load.
Her face flashed a look of recognition as she remembered these days well. Trying to shake her head in understanding, her eyes told so much more.
She missed this.
A bulging sink, running the dishwasher twice a day, dinner with someone teetering on her lap. Piles of laundry waiting to be folded, someone tugging at her leg as she cooked, she wished it all back now. Her days of my life were long gone. All at college or married with their own children, filling up her dinner table for the occasional meal and then heading home.
Her house, quiet. Her sink, empty again.
I was unable to begin the next day without milk and juice and dish soap and my sleep-deprived, yoga pant-clad life but it looked perfect to her.
I stood a little taller in my husband's sweatshirt and barely made up face. Hugging my purchases I walked to a minivan full of car seats and smiled as I backed away to the sound of toddler toons.
A sink full of dishes was awaiting my return.