I love my quiet house. I love staying up late reading and then sleeping in. I love having time to cook from scratch, to garden, to meditate, to practice yoga.
I also love the energy and directness of small children. I love the way they laugh. I love listening to their stories, playing games, sharing hugs, seeing the world through their eyes.
There is something wonderful about opening our house to friends and their children, inviting the adults to spend an evening eating and talking and relaxing while we take turns engaging with the little ones. They fill the house with imagination as the pillows become swords and shields and the floor becomes lava.
And at the end of the evening, they bundle up and go home to their beds, and I curl up in my warm, glowing, but still (thankfully, happily, once again) quiet house.