Today when Mary came home I had a good snack waiting for her of pretzels, strawberries, and lemonade. She gladly sat down and did her homework, chatted about her day (a girl wore a bikini under a see-through shirt! Dad made her a crazy lunch! The computer teacher made a funny joke!) while I chopped tomatoes and peppers for salsa. It was so nice and so peaceful, the two of us alone, together. It was a moment in time that will be etched in my mind and heart for a long time--validation and reward for being at home, when so often it seems that there is no benefit. (No immediate benefit, I mean. No one's complimenting my homemaking skills or praising my service as a chauffeur or therapist.) But today--I am so glad to have been there at the crossroads. It was a lovely feeling to spend time with my beautiful daughter. Today I felt that true joy in motherhood that we talk about but rarely have the luxury of feeling. What a nice gift that was!