Thursday, August 26, 2010

Let Go

They gather berries, cup their palms like bowls. Lulie squeezes hers and runs for the swings. Short legs run double time. They huddle, the three of them. Jane scoops smushed berries and counts, "One for you, one for you, and one for you." They watch each berry lob onto piles.

And then the bell. I ring Gramma's little silver bell, the one from her hutch all those years.

The dinner bell. They freeze. The berries, what about the berries? Janie squares her shoulders, "Okay guys," she says, "how 'bout we just set it down here and eat like pigs." They grab for berries. Sweetness dribbles on their chins.

Later, my flowers crackle into shaggy zinnia heads. I weave the children into quiet nap-corners. "Head to bed," I say. "Tuck yourself in for nap."

Janie lingers, casts questions like nets. I eddie in the current, wait. She stops. "Jane," I say.

"But Momma, but Momma," she chidles.

"Jane," I say, "You can have self-discipline, or you can have Mommy-discipline."

"Hmm," she sets her head to one side, "that's kind of a hard choice." And yet, she cradles a book in elbow and slips down the back hall, climbs her bunk and settles into the afternoon.

I slice cherry tomatoes in the kitchen. Each globe splits into a perfect circle. Self-discipline. I picture Jane up on that bunk. Six years old. Discipline. I prepare myself to let her go.

A little.


Audra said...

You will have to make a book of your blog for each of your kids. They will be so touched by all you've done, and what you say is certainly worth being treasured!

Goat said... like pigs! HAHAHA good one Emma Jane! Problem solved.

Self-discipline or mommy-discipline. Wish someone would have made it that clear to me way back when.

I love the way you cut conflict down to a manageable thing for your children.

Ostriches Look Funny said...

wow. I'm taking notes over here!

Melissa said...

Choosing self-discipline or Mommy-discipline rolls off the tongue much sweeter than choosing obedience or a spank. I'll be trying that one. :)

P.S. Do you know Flower Patch Farmgirl? If not, you really should make her acquaintance.

Kim Hyland said...

How powerful at 6 years learning what so many never do. "climbs her bunk and settles into the afternoon." I like that line. It sounds so inviting. Makes me wish I still had a mom to tell me it's nap time :)

emily wierenga said...

oh, this is an exquisite post, and you're such a good mama, friend... i need this self-discipline(and i'm wondering, can you re-link, because i want others to read it but when i clicked on your link, it led me back to my own blog...) i'm so glad you joined up today because you teach me, so, friend. love to you. xo

Wandering On Purpose said...

Love the beauty in your description of your day's events/conversations. Stopping by from Emily's.

Heather said...

Oooh, good one... self-discipline or Mommy-discipline :) Love it.

Adina said...

I'm going to use that line.