I left them this morning.

On a sunny, unremarkable Tuesday morning, while all three were playing more or less happily on the rug in that gorgeous morning sunlight, I left them.

Okay, it’s not so dramatic. I am coming back. Tyson was taking over. He was giving me some time to get away to focus and rest, to write and consume some caffeine.

But somehow the weight of it hit me this morning as I lay with them on the rug and stacked a few blocks.

“These years go so fast!” they say. “Don’t blink or you’ll miss it!” or “Enjoy every moment!” Whoever they are.

And yet all I wanted to do was get away. I didn’t want to sit there for another moment. I needed to refuel. Some reading, some writing, my favorite coffee shop. Computer screen, pen to paper.

And yet all I wanted to do was stay. Enjoy the vignette of the kids on the rug in the sunlight. Stack more blocks, watch the toddlers work together, the baby knock it all down. Have little bodies back up into my lap to sit, all in a pile, as we read a stack of books.

I’m with them basically 24/7/365 and then feel guilty when the time comes to take a couple of hours away.

Some days, all I can think about is getting the hell out of here, (another long stretch of the 3 o’clock afternoon hour), and then when the time comes, I want nothing more than to stay right here.

I want my coffee to stay hot (or, this time of year, cold) and to eat my breakfast alone, and then I wonder where they all went.

I only want the house to be quiet (just go to sleep already!), and then I miss the chaos.

Motherhood is stupid sometimes.