*Five Minute Friday is an initiative set up by Lisa-Jo Baker over at Surprised by Motherhood. It has now been taken over by Kate over at Heading Home. The basic premise is to take the word Kate gives and write, non-stop for 5 minutes. Then you stop and post. Read more about it here. This October, I am taking part in a series based on this called “31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes”, in which we commit to writing from the prompt as usual, but everyday rather than just on a Friday. Read more here.
She runs through the garden giggling and shouting, trying to outrun the wobble, the unsteadiness that hints at tiredness.
He chases after her, trying not to dirty his work clothes as she cackles with glee at the game.
The camera clicks as I try to capture the beauty of their relationship – the daddy-daughter time that is so precious and so important to them both.
Baby kicks steadily, constantly, painfully, wonderfully, reminding me of the joy that is to come, the change that is just around the corner.
The washing machine beeps to signal the end of yet another wash, and I try to ignore its persistent nagging. Another pile of laundry lies beside it, I know. The constant cycle of our daily mess, our daily lives.
The tinkle of a little bell by my feet reminds me that the cat needs feeding, as she winds herself around my ankles in a steady figure of eight.
The vegetables sizzle as they hit the pan, and I turn the heat down as the pasta water threatens to boil over.
I watch them play outside a little longer, not wanting to interrupt the moment they are sharing, the memories they are building.
Skype calls out to me from my computer, and we chat to grandparents over dinner. She grins over her pasta, mouth covered in sauce, shovelling handfuls of vegetables into her mouth. She points at the screen, shaking her spoon in excitement at the familiar faces.
As I clear up the plates, I hear the squeals of joy and splashing of bath water upstairs. I hear the patter of feet across the ceiling as she runs from the towel.
I hear the calls for “mama” as she gets ready for bed, and smile as I make my way up the stairs.
The chaotic beauty of the day washes over me in silence as she sleeps, and I turn to the person I couldn’t do any of it without as he tells me about his working day.
And as I lie in bed, I try let it all sink in.
The universal sounds of family.