The baby smells of syrup. He has a tangled cluster of hair where it appears syrup dripped on to his head as he was being held by an older sibling during breakfast. The younger version of myself would be deeply troubled by the messy, sticky hair; Likely I would have begun admonishing the older gals for forgetting to clean him up. Because in my past's eyes being good caretakers meant neat, tidy, orderly. Parameters that have been set by a woman desperate for controlling the inevitable chaos that belongs in an active home. Me as the mother I am today knows that the scent of syrup is nothing more than evidence of a toddler being well cared for by his sisters. Ever the guy who loves to be held he was brought to the table to be a part of the family meal. There he likely happily watched, sneaking a bite from the closest plate, as his sisters ate their breakfast chatting about their dreams. Syrup in his hair isn't just a tangled mess. It is a reminder of how love is more than the mess it makes. Love is the experience of sharing a meal listening to the tales told at the table. It is where we share moments of care in the unsaid routines of life. Those pieces make the stories of family.