I wept on my walk to the Metro station, lugging my small suitcase behind me, my eyes hidden by sunglasses only slightly out of place amongst early morning commuters.
There was nothing extraordinary about the last few days, at least to an outsider anyway, that would necessarily warrant tears.
I'm not quite sure whether it's the number of kids I have or the number I scrawl on the doctor forms next to the age question that has made me content with simplicity but its siren call is hard to ignore.
The hot cup of coffee while still sitting in bed. A quiet dinner where the only interruption is the waiter with the dessert menu.
The deep laugh that makes your stomach hurt like you just did a thousand sit-ups.
You grow accustomed to the IMs, which become almost like side-by-side double beds, where we'd chat in the dark like high school girls until someone drifts off mid-conversation. Twitter is our dinner table, where we crack jokes and laugh, though our glasses and plates don't end up in the same sink when we're done.
But then you get a taste of it, of friends now family and the joy that is just you and your dear ones, no facades, no masks, no judgments. No frazzled mom, no tired wife.
"Hey there! I remember you, self," she says, staring back at me in the mirror as I paint my lips in an uncharacteristic shade of bright pink. "You're still around? Good. I haven't seen you in awhile."
She's right, damnit. She's always right.
I pulled up to my house with four kids jumping up and down on my front porch, then swinging open my car door and grabbing onto my legs like rabid koala bears before I can even get up out of my seat.
I had nothing to show for my weekend save a shiny Tiffany necklace and a couple of very stiff legs, but I'd missed them, all of them.
"You look weird, mama, in those pink lips," my son said, stroking my hair as I held him in my arms. "But I like it."
"So do I," I replied, catching a glance at myself as I walked in.
So do I.