I stand for off-white linen curtains that fall beside morning windows, which are smudged with the curious fingerprints of a 7, 6, 4 and 2-year-old.
I stand for zip-up sleepers that cover the chilly toes of my gurgling, chubby baby.
I stand for hot, fresh bread made from 6 ingredients, topped with yellow butter made from cows who eat grass.
I stand for Autumn days.
And Spring ones, too.
And Winter mornings when the sky is icy grey.
I stand for dark, stormy afternoons that give full permission to stay inside under a blanket and read Harry Potter.
I stand for kissing my husband when we say goodbye — and hello — and excuse me, I need to reach my cup of coffee —
And oh, I stand for coffee. With real cream and something sweet.
I stand for friends who know you and love you anyway.
And for taking care of each other.
For bringing leftover cake to a neighbor’s doorstep.
And bookshelves stuffed with books.
I stand for the hypnotizing, contagious, world-peace-inducing grin of a baby.
And the joy of a full dinner table.
I stand for standing up to offer help.
And also, for sitting down.
I stand for dresses on sale from Anthropologie and imperfect, homemade gifts.
For cello music.
And The Sound of Music.
And singing out loud in the car to Adele.
I stand for faces instead of screens and long, good conversations that keep you up way too late.
I stand for Sunday brunch and mimosas.
For picnics under trees.
And for family reunions that make you feel like a kid again.
For the simple things that have nothing to do with power or fame or whatever it’s so easy to think is so important.
I stand for hand-writing letters,
And hand-making pretty things,
And rich, black dirt under too-short nails from digging up the sweet potatoes.
For backyard chickens,
And front-porch sitting,
For writing and snuggling and praying and knitting.
And for lip gloss. I also stand for lip gloss.
I stand for the pursuit of truth and justice —
And for dark chocolate after lunch.
For telling stories and hearing stories and writing stories that matter.
I stand for a world where we can all be
exactly who we were made to be:
people who create art
and love each other
and eat cake
and act silly
and think deeply
and who live a life
that stands for something.