“There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.”
― Leo Tolstoy,
I had called “dibs” on that corner, the one facing the kitchen, the day we moved in. I knew it would be the perfect reading corner, one with a great view. Not only are there two rectangular windows flanking each side, resting on top of the benches built into the wall, but there’s a clear view of our tiny, green kitchen.
While I love the view of the forest surrounding our home, fresh with dew glistening in an Alaskan morning sunrise, and the crumbling dirt trampled by the wildlife always close by. More than the gorgeous Alaskan landscape I see out of all our windows every time I wake up, I love the view of our busy kitchen at six in the morning.
First, my husband stomps down the stairs from the loft, sleep in his eyes and torn sweatpants covering his lower half. I can’t help but admire his strong shoulders, blonde bed-head, and cracked glasses that he refuses to get fixed, while I set today’s book to the side and sip my coffee. I receive an in-audible grunt and then a, “good morning baby” before the banging of pots and pans signals the kids to a homemade breakfast soon to come.
“I want to crack the eggs,” is heard from down the hall.
Quickly followed by a taunting, “Oh yeah? Well, I’m going to get the bacon because I can reach it and you-ou ca-an’t.”
Then comes the routine race, older brother versus younger sister, to see who can reach daddy—and his breakfast making utensils—first. Fighting breaks out. A ruckus explodes. And in comes the dog, jumping, licking, and barking at the three clowns fooling around in the kitchen.
Bacon begins to sizzle. Over-easy eggs begin to pop. Toast shoots out of the toaster and the oven clicks off. Two blonde haired kids are sent grumbling to set the table.
I look at my daughter, hair bouncing in two tight braids hanging down her back. She has on a lavender nightgown dragging the floor, her little purple toes peaking out from underneath, and her blue eyes stare intently at the napkins as she struggles to create the perfect fold.
And her older brother, already tall and sporting bed-head to match his fathers. From my corner, with my glasses hugging the bridge of my nose, I can make out the dark, black shade of oil and dirt from yesterday’s work underneath his finger nails. Like daddy, he stomps around in camo shorts and a white, long sleeve thermal.
Switching between following each child is Hunter. White, brown, and black with both an intimidating, muscular build and a dopey smile, tongue hanging out from his attempts to keep up with the temporary kitchen chaos. All three kids, my husband included, egg him on until he finally flops down on the orange dog bed tucked in the far corner.
Shortly following his exhausted collapse, the entire room calms down and I’m able to take a deep breath, taking in the scenery of a family and home I’d created. Then a smile breaks and I leave my books imaginary world behind, instead, taking part in my own fairy tale—the one unfolding before me at six in the morning in a small, green kitchen.