Monday, June 7, 2010

Jane and Rose

A mother's tenderness begins here when the girl holds baby sister. She sifts her from shoulder to shoulder until cries lull into stares and blinks. They watch each other. The older counts baby toes and fingers, presses her lips to soft cheeks, and whispers into the tiny ears. It's a serenade. Before long baby falls asleep nestled into sister's warm neck.

My Gratitude:

31. Ten baby toes, lint in the cracks.

32. Weight in my elbow of a nursed full baby.

33. Rows of bean sprouts in wet dirt.

34. Black coffee, just ground.

35. Sunglasses, blue and yellow polka-dot, forgotten in the grass.

36. Sister love that whispers baby to sleep.

37. Brother love that sings Zacheaus Was a Wee Little Man in full soprano at each nap.

38. Husband hands that sort the kitchen junk drawer into piles that captivate our children.

39. Husband's clean shave.

40. Cookies stacked on wire racks, crisp out of the oven.

41. Salty Greek olives.

42. A little girl who still calls herself OLIVE.

43. Cucumbers and peppers, tomatoes, olives fresh chopped.

44. Pizza.

45. My brother home from Africa, fresh and new and yet all the same, sea blue eyes and red beard.

46. Refreshment that flows from my parents to us, a river of friendship.

47. A husband quick to humor and slow to anger.

48. Tall glasses of water, small cups of coffee, black chocolate.

49. Flip-flops.

50. Wet-wipes.

51. Jelly smudges on the walls.

holy   experience


Heather said...

I love Jane's dimple in the first photo!
Mmmm, olives.
That reminds me I need to sort through my kitchen drawer.
What is black chocolate?
Big sister love... soooo special.

Jessica said...

Welcome to counting Gratitude. So nice to "meet" you. Your family is beautiful...and we too are a family of six.

Goat said...

Being allowed to try her hand at mothering at five years old--how often do we discourage it? She watches you and sees this mothering thing is a main event. How much she knows instinctually, and from watching you! How uninhibited she is to try something new--counting toes. My gratitude today is for your unfailing embrace of what a family can be.

Ben and Rachelle said...

Such a sweet post, Bethany. Can't wait to be nestled cheek to cheek with my little guys.

the o's said...

bethany, your kids are so beautiful! you are just a natural and i love reading your stories from around the house. myra is pretty lucky to have such great big sibs and parents!!

Lori said...

Love it, friend! You're always so good at recognizing the blessings in everyday life - it inspires me!

GlowinGirl said...

Oh, I miss the weight of a nursed-full baby. Such a sweet, fleeting time! I'm still loving baby toes though. Thankfully, that lasts longer. :)

Adina said...

The tenderness is so beautiful to see. It's not quite so sweet to see the bossiness of an oldest sibling--but that also is (to a certain extent) preparation for motherhood. May we model it well! I'm still touched thinking about your girl saying that what she learned from you is how to love.