A sunny day, warm without being hot. My own home again. The windows open. A wonderful, homemade breakfast on clean, brand-new dishes. Blissful cats, one of which is nosing around the apartment, one of which is trying to figure out how to make the screen on the window melt with the power of her mind, and the last of which is curled up contentedly against my thigh. ABBA playing (shut up, you know you know all the words, too). My girlfriend, who turns to smile at me now and again and tell me she loves me. Best friends now within walking distance. Dinner later tonight with those friends. A week to get things unpacked, organized, shuffled around, made pretty, and then my boy here, to be surprised with his own bedroom all set up and ready for him, with the pictures he picked out hanging up. Story ideas, percolating gently in my hindbrain, soon to be scribbled and worked over and played with and teased and formed and made whole.

Birth pains are dreadful, but what comes of them is joy.

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