Every now and then, I get these glimpses of peace.
It used to only happen when they were both asleep. At night, after they had both nodded off, I would breathe in the silence of the house, content that they were both right where they belonged, safe and dreaming.
Then, it started happening when one of them was sleeping, or at school, or with a grandparent. O would become engrossed with some made-up play that didn't require my narration, or P would climb into my lap, content to silently twirl a piece of my hair around her tiny finger.
But now, and only very recently, it is happening when they are both awake. The moments are fleeting and mercurial. The slightest noise or distraction can upset them. But with increasing frequency, there is peace in my house. Sometimes, they find a way to play together. Sometimes, they are playing separately, side by side, but lost to each other in a world of imagination. Once, I even discovered O using a picture book to tell P a story, but a heated debate about who should turn the page quickly ended that and resulted in a torn book, pulled hair, and hurt feelings.
Glimpses of peace. I'll take it.