Casey pulls up to the house with a little exhale. Coming home after a day like today is always the best feeling. Her feet ache, she’s tired, there’s a slight headache behind her left eye, and she might have skipped lunch by accident, but she’s home .
Some people might argue that coming home to a house like hers would just exhaust an already exhausting day, but she doesn’t feel that way. Their house is chaotic, but Casey thrives in it. They all do. It’s what she grew up in. Sally is the only one who has had to do much adjustment, but she also loves it just as much.
Once inside, Casey has approximately one minute to shed her coat and shoes before she’s bombarded. Theo is the first to get to her, wrapping his pudgy arms around her leg. “Miss you!” He declares.
Hannah follows behind. She pulls her brother from Casey’s leg, leaning in to give her mother a hug. It’s a small little bear hug before Sally arrives, Caleb latched onto one breast.
“They’ve been especially needy today,” Sally tells her, laughing.
Casey grins, leaning in for a kiss from the blonde. She lingers there for a moment. Between the hugs from her children and the kiss from Sally, she’s already unwinding from her day, feeling the pressure behind her eye release. There’s just one thing missing.
“He’s in there.” Sally points toward the living room.
“Ordering dinner?” Casey confirms.
“Typical.” Casey shakes her head and laughs. Whenever it’s his turn, they get takeout.
“I heard that.” Derek pokes his head out from the entryway to the living room. Theo toddles toward him, and he scoops him up easily. “I have to balance all the healthy shit you and Sally try to feed us.”
“Der ek !” Sally and Casey’s voices harmonize at the same time that Theo claps his hands and says, “Shit!”
“That’s right. Shit.” Derek nods. “Daddy’s in deep, deep shit.” He grins at both women, leaning in to give Casey a kiss in greeting.
Dinner is pizza, then it’s a hurricane of activity getting the kids ready for bed. Hannah and Casey spend a little time together, reading a book together.
She and Derek tag team giving Caleb and Theo a bath. Caleb finishes first, still too young to play in the water, and Sally takes him for another feeding. Derek leaves to go spend some time with Hannah.
They have this routine down pat.
Once Caleb is down, Sally swaps with Derek to hang out with Hannah, and Derek puts Theo to bed.
All in all, it takes about two hours to get all the kids in bed. Hannah’s light gets to stay on for another thirty minutes, and then it’s off to bed with her.
Casey pours two glasses of wine and grabs a beer, heading to the living room. Sally and Derek are already on the couch. One glass goes to the blonde, the beer goes to Derek, and the pair make room for Casey to snuggle in. She steals a kiss from both of them, settling back.
Their lives may be chaos and people may not necessarily understand, but this is contentment.