The children are sleeping. I hear their silence, a soft void of sound, the whispered noise of small limbs nestled in covers, the delicate din of eyelashes brushing cheeks, tiny breaths, the quiet ring of dreams in the gray-dark. The whole house is dark, black-cloaked windows -- night is pressing in from outside. The light in the kitchen fends it off, and the glow of the television. I am tired. I dice a red onion, slicing the neat rows, and dice the red and yellow bell peppers, and shred the baked chicken from Sunday's dinner. It all comes together in a pot of soup, simmering together in diced tomatoes, green chiles, the warmth of cumin and chili powder and garlic rising in the steam.
Once that task is done, and the kitchen is tidied, I drift into the other part of the house, closer to the glow of the television, and mute the sound. A storm is swelling outside, the rain an audible insistence of sleep against the roof, against the back door that bangs against the house in the wind. There is a slow murmur of thunder. How sad, I think. Me still in my work clothes, shoes and all, as I lay on the couch and curl underneath with a pink fuzzy blanket. There is comfort here, somehow, in the sloppy, unintentional end to this long, long day. The sleep is sudden and easy; I fold myself into the silence until I am part of it.