I pulled into my driveway, anticipating the chaos I left to still be present. But when I walked in, Anthony lept up, smiling.
"Mama come home!"
He took my hand, leading me to the couch and feeling the softness of my fuzz pajama pants as I sat.
"I came home. I was just sad, baby."
"Sad?" He took my face in his hands and wrapped his arms around my neck. "Mommy happy."
And it that moment, with his arms around my neck, his head resting on my shoulder, all the failures of the day were swept away. This is the life I chose. It doesn't come with breaks or how-to manuals. It doesn't come with guarantees or promises of constant validation. But it does come with love, and plenty of it. And joy, in the smallest of moments, when a hug was all I needed.