It was a long day. Often, it was a hard day. The youngest is breaking into his Threes, showing us all of his unwillingness to be cooperative, fighting off help and refusing instruction. I realize this is the plight of most parents. The Threes are terrible, and we learn to pour a glass of wine for one another.

Having a Three at home all of the hours of all of the days brings its own challenges. (Mind you, this is not a comparison of “which is harder, managing up your CEO or negotiating cup colors?”) My job, essentially, is to show patience and boundaries, love and direction, to this small human who might be diagnose-able on the DSM 4 if he were scaled as an adult. It’s maddening.  And, really, the only other tally in the Productive Column is the  sorted laundry that has sat in your room for no less than a week.

But you take the girls on a run. You watch as one of them half-prances through the less-than-one-mile turn-around while the other powers through and rolls her eyes when sister needs to stop and rest. You hear them talk about their strong muscles and how fast their shoes are.

Then, you go out to eat. You drink a margarita on the patio with your family and no one screams or spills. You smile at your husband.

And then you get in the car for a quick trip to your mother’s house. She eases your mind that your children do NOT have head lice. (Let’s not discount the ease of mind this brings.) Your childhood friend who now serves as your household audiologist (what? you don’t have one?) drops off BRAND NEW hearing aids. You sit out on the back porch, watching children tumble and climb and run in the sunshine.

Finally, you come home. You tuck in the children and you sit out on the front porch to watch the sun finish its work. You hear the goats from half a mile down the road. You take in the last sips of your Pinot Noir. And you bask in the blessings.

It’s not perfect, but it’s good. It’s a really, really good life. Far from magazine quality. (Child number 3 has the bite marks to prove it.) But so brilliantly, delightfully good.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting the most from life; planning, dreaming, visioning, wishing, working and trying. As long as you’re not ignoring the beauty sitting right in front of your pretty little nose. Today was a day of that. Seeing the beauty in the struggle.

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