In Georgia, it’s the season of hail like sea salt on the ground, and sunny, sleeveless days.

This month I’m grateful for the twinkle lights in my office, that make it feel a little cozier–even with the blinds pulled tight to shield me while I pump. Even more so, I’m grateful for the people outside the door. Long talks with colleagues: sitting in the car side by side, in park. Our conversation still driving.

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I’m grateful for the way Chara ducks her head, pulls her ears back, when she needs something. And the way she presses the bony knob on top of her skull into your stomach for comfort.

I’m grateful for walks in the woods. Lazy, meandering walks. When we turn back and retrace our steps just for the hell of it, and snap picture of the flowers on the trees. For the moist balm of the air on my face, as soothing as bathwater, and the warmth of Linden’s body seeping into my skin.

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I’m especially grateful for the days when I can get out alone. When I can shed my new identities like an old skin, and step out into the world with just a dog by my side. There’s something perfect about jogging in step with a dog. Their lolling tongue, the leash slack between you. The world rushing up at you both–bright and hazy at the same time.

In the same breath, I’m grateful for my new identities. For the sure knowledge that I can make whatever it is better. That I can quell the crying. That my love is all encompassing, and that he’ll grow up enveloped by it. Buoyed by it. That right now, I am all he needs.

This month, I’m not going to write about the hard things. I’ve focused too much on the difficult parts of my life this month. It’s been hard, being back at work, being away from Linden. As hard and solid and suffocating as a boulder on my chest. And being negative about it only makes it harder.

So instead I’ll relish my small happinesses. Warm tea, new glasses, spring days, smiling babies. A husband who brings me fake flowers on our first date out together since the baby was born, and knocks on the front door like an old-fashioned suitor. A sister who is also a best friend. There’s a lot to be grateful for–I just have to remember to see it.

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