After the children have gone to bed, the house seems quiet. Occasionally we hear sleepy moans and mumbles or little footsteps and doors opening and closing. But as long as no one appears at the top of the stairs or begins to scream, we tune it out. We each spend time on our laptops. Blogging, paying bills, writing, researching. He works getting his paperback ready to launch. I catch up on articles I want to read and spend sometime cyber window shopping for things I’d like but can’t really afford. We stop with enough time to watch a favorite TV show. I do another load of laundry while he serves us dessert.

Later we snuggle in bed and enjoy the quiet. Whispering romantic words to each other and reminiscing about what it was like when it was just us. Before kids. When the quiet was by choice and not necessity. When we stayed up late because we liked to, not because we needed a few hours of personal enrichment before another kid-filled day. But our last words are always

“I love them.”

“I know I do too.”

“I love you.”

“Love you too.”