Friday, July 30, 2010
"I get to take care of you," he says. Jack leans elbow-down on the green couch, wads little boy hands into fists and tucks them under his chin. Myra watches. "I get to take care of every single girl in this family," the boy says. He leans a little closer, whispers. "I get to take care of them, with my money." He cups a smudgy hand open, three pennies. The boy raises both eyebrows then kisses her tummy. "Big-Strong-Boy is back," he says.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
"And when Lulie gets bigger, she'll get to decide too."
Jane turns to Lulie, "When you get older," she says, "I want you to say, 'Jesus, please come into my heart. Amen.'" Lulie takes another bite of sandwich. Jelly blobs out the side onto her plate. "And he will take ALL the bad guys," Jane tilts her head, "to a naughty place, and he'll take you to a good place."
Lulie swallows, "The donut store."
Jane scoops up her sandwich and bites the corner. They eat down to crumbs and lick their fingers, wipe their faces and tumble out into the afternoon with brother.
I rearrange the dishwasher. Heaven. Wish I could wrap my mind around that.
105. The old hymns.
106. Fresh strawberries, sliced and frozen.
107. Baby fallen asleep in my arms.
108. Husband's big brown chair. And how he sat on the floor when I fell asleep too.
109. Summer birthday parties, family and the chorus of encouragement as we take turns to say what we've noticed about each other this past year.
110. My momma moved to tears at almost every one.
110. How Dad shakes his head at the end, amazed at the God-work in each of us. Us too. Like my brother says, "Makes getting a year older worth it." Such riches.
111. Husband's mother who finds blueberry plants on sale and shares the secret.
112. Husband's father who always says, "Come down anytime." And how it feels like home.
113. Little boy who begs to pull weeds in my garden.
114. Drippy ice cream cones.
115. Summer hours that linger with my children on the swings out back.
116. Husband who laughs at the beans I cook down to smoke and have to throw out.
117. The pickled asparagus and olives we served instead.
118. Muffin tins shaped like bugs.
119. More puzzles.
120. A date card to a restaurant!
121. A canvas photo of our kids.
122. How my children always forgive me when I ask.
123. That my parents always seemed more afraid of offending God than me.
124. The rich, rich love of parents on both sides of our family. Riches untold.
Friday, July 23, 2010
"If there was a weed as big as me, it would be REALLY hard to pull." Jack's arm tucked around my neck, I crane to see his face.
"But if it was a big as you it would be bigger." He nods his head. "Yeah. But a weed as big as Daddy would be BIGGER 'cause he's as BIG as God," the boy squinches up one eye, "except not as much, 'cause God is the BIGGEST."
It's bedtime. The children wriggle and squirm in bed, reach for books and pillows, blankies, Mommy. I lean down cheek to cheek and whisper love to them. Small hands behind my neck, the day spills out in tales of weeds, grass nests and the way they filled the tunnel out back with more and more grass. And how Lucy learned to pump on the swings, sort of. They mixed mint water and picked raspberries.
Lulie. She sucks her thumb. She rubs the ends of my hair, folds them in blankie's favorite corner. Then, she smells and smells blankie. And me. And sucks her thumb, breathes in. She traces my chin and lips, watches my eyes, then cries when I leave.
Jack slips out of bed, hugs the girl and croons, "Oh, oh, oh." He pads back to bed, and I slip down the hall. Another day laid to rest.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
"Janie, have your ears been plugged?" I snuff and cough into my elbow. She peddles her red bike.
"Oh, I didn't realize it was so bad. Now mine are totally plugged too. I should have been nicer to you guys."
She coasts a moment, "I bet God was just trying to say, 'Bethany, hmm, are you treating them the right way?'"
I catch her profile in the evening sun, "Huh. I was just thinking the SAME thing."
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
"I peed, Momma! I PEED." Lulie kicks her heels on the toilet bowl and leans forward, "See."
"Ooooh, did you WIPE?"
"Yeah," her head bobs. "I peed."
"Uh, it's gonna flood."
"Momma," Janie calls, "This might be kind of a yucky job, but get a spoon and put some of it in the trash."
Lulie grins, "I wiped."
Lord only know how, but that whole mountain of toilet tissue actually flushed.
Any toilet training tips?
Sunday, July 18, 2010
"Momma, I got a drink with this," A chunk of old cushion foam.
"I'll show you how I do it. We just dip it in and just," she opens her mouth and sucks the water out. Then, she dunks it again, "See?"
"Oh, I see."
Jane grins, "Yeah, I just dip it in and drink it."
Jack rounds the corner. A wadded dish towel drips on his toes.
"Oh Lucy, MAN!" The kitchen floor split into a lake, they haul bath towels and more bowls and rip the foam piece into three chunks and drink and drink.
Then they carry their vats outside. "Momma we have way too many sponges in the bowl. You can come out here and drink a little water with us in the shade." Before I answer they disappear, flop out on the back grass.
"Can we invite Logan and Thad over? Because we have too many sponges. Can we invite Logan and Thad over to drink a little?" They sprawl out on elbows and drink up lakes of summer.
97. Birthday cake.
98. Pudgy arms squeezed and squished into new dress until a seam unravels.
99. Sewing machine and red thread.
100. Tall daughter grown taller, curls tied back.
101. Cousins and cousins and aunties, uncles, grand parents, great-grand and more cousins.
102. Morning runs.
103. New shoes because husband insisted. Running shoes.
104. A race! I got to run a race. Jane prayed I'd win. And that was better than winning.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
"Jesus," Janie says. I squinch my eyes shut. "Help us to make it easy for you to show your glory in us. And help us to love you more everyday. Amen."
"Amen." I sigh. I open my eyes. Two sentences. Yeah, me too, God. Help me to make it easy. Amen.
Monday, July 5, 2010
"He's fast," Daddy says, "but I'm FASTER!" Dustbuster in hand, boy and his father tear through the kitchen, "Where'd he go?" Daddy calls. Half-a-rumpus past the fridge, he freezes, "Shhh. There he is." He points, a fly.
A fly. The hunt is on. Boy watches Daddy, squints his eyes, leans close. Daddy raises both eyebrows, "Allllmost," he drawls. He edges the Dustbuster slowly, slowly, yes there, into the fly's blind spot -- THERE! And ALMOST! In half-a-second-less-than-no-time the fly floats back to life.
Later, the vacuum clicks off, "Gotcha!"
"Daddy, can he fly out of there?"
Daddy frowns, "Click, VAaroOOooM!"
They trounce back through the kitchen and into the yard, trophy in hand.
Later, Jane and Jack teeter-todder in and out of the house, leave the door open for lots more flies. "Why do you have to talk about guns and toots all the time?" Janie wants to know.
Jack shrugs. "Wanna go outside and play?"
"Ok." Off they go.
Lulie runs to catch up.
86. Sleep. More sleep than a month ago.
87. Counters clean and wiped smooth.
88. Bleach solution.
89. Soap and running water.
90. Laundry wadded into stacks -- folded they say.
91. Bacon and brown sugar, black beans.
92. The boy who wipes his nose on the couch and peeks over, "I love you, Momma."
93. My sliced fingernail, almost grown back now.
94. That Lulie hasn't flooded the toilet lately.
95. The Declaration of Independence and the blood spilled on my behalf.
96. The freedom to worship Jesus.