I made him move from my chair.
They think it’s funny, to stake their claim as I’m making my plate. I’m always the last to sit down to eat, after making sure everyone else has what they need before getting my own food and then joining them. On casual nights, like tonight, we sit in the living room to eat.
One couch. One chair. Three kids. One me.
It’s a coup to get to that chair before I do, a guaranteed giggle fest as they pretend to not hear me asking them to move. Cackles and pretend screams of protest as I gingerly “sit” on them, pretending they’re not there, pretending it’s the most comfortable chair I’ve ever plopped into.
I always make them move. But it’s not the chair I’m claiming. It’s the view.
After they settle in on the couch, they forget that I’m in that chair and that I’m watching. Those three loves of my life, lined up in perfect birth order, laughing over silly jokes and watching 80’s movies I should fast forward through parts of and pretending they don’t like sitting next to each other.
It’s the view of seeing three instead of two, as it’s been for the past three months, measuring life again in moments and memories instead of semesters and phone calls. It’s the view of the middle passing his pizza crust to the youngest, because he knows it’s her favorite part and the view of the youngest, putting on a dance party to keep the captive attention of both brothers.
It’s the view of my heart existing outside my chest, split equally in thirds and at home on that couch, talking and bickering and eating pizza as if it’s an ordinary day. It’s the view that will change again, soon, as semesters give way to longer stretches and plane flights and a redefinition of life as we know it.
But for now, for this extraordinarily ordinary moment, the view is perfect and I refuse to give up this chair.
Read here to learn more about Just Write. In a nutshell, it’s a free write about a recent or current experience without adding analysis, explanation, or clarification. (I took this entire paragraph from Erin Margolin. Read her Just Write piece, titled ‘A School Morning’, here).