and my heart swelled

by ann

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I woke this morning to the sound of running water and the clinking of ceramic dishes. The alarm had already rang twice and both times I had fumbled at my phone until it was silenced, drifting back to sleep easily. But now I stirred as the sounds continued from my kitchen. You walked silently back into the room, unaware I was awake now.

I asked what you were doing. Dishes, you replied. Because you know how I let dishes pile. Because I wouldn’t be able to cook and eat if I ran out of dishes and pots.

When did you wake up, I asked. Twenty minutes ago, you replied.

And my heart swelled.

Oh, my sweetheart, you are a man who rarely ever wakes earlier than me. And to stumble from bed bleary-eyed and do my dishes unasked? These are moments I treasure.

You fret when I walk too close to the edge of unguarded roads as cars rumble by.

You remember to save me the crispy end of the ice cream cone because you know it’s my favorite part.

These are minutiae, no? Perhaps you don’t even realize what you’re doing. But perhaps that’s what makes it sweeter. Let’s always be thankful for these wispy, tender-hearted moments.