For every shriek, there is a corresponding cuddle, though the two events are temporally separated. For every time I rolled my eyes at a selfish or icky or annoying act, I smiled at two - Smallest One kissing Chienne, ponytails swishing when we walked outside, stories told with great detail and excitement, chalk art covering my driveway in an explosion of color and shapes.
The left after 30 minutes of loading belongings into the van, the girls giggling as the neighbor cat came to visit and allowed himself to be petted. I smiled and gave hugs and kisses and waved goodbye until the van lumbered out of sight. Then I came inside, showered and settled my phone next to my bed before slipping into a peaceful nap, embracing the quiet that settled gently over my home once again.