Sunday, October 10, 2010

Marzipan Date

"If everybody would just obey every rule at one time, everything would be perfect," Janie says. I turn the car into traffic, flip the wipers on.


"''It's just like, I'm wanting everything perfect, but my way." She licks a smudge of chocolate off her finger.

"What makes things perfect for you?" I ask.

"Mostly just like, hmm," she tilts her head, wrinkles her brow, "like if I'm pulling this box and it's really full of things and I'm pulling and PULLING and I finally do it, and I'm just like THAT is PERFECT, because I DID it." She crumples the chocolate wrapper, slides it down next to her seat. I bite the last bit of marzipan in half, press it to the roof of my mouth.

"So what do you think has been the hardest thing I've done lately?" I pass the last crumb of marzipan back to her. She nibbles it up.

"Hmm," she says, "probably not getting mad in situations where you think you should, but then you're like, 'No,' instead."

"You know me pretty well, Janie," I say.

"What's that mean?"

I reach back and grab her heal, smile to her in the rear view mirror, "Means I never even told you that, but you KNEW because you KNOW me."

"Actually, you did tell me," she says, "just not in those words." A red car whizzes by her window. I signal to the left lane, press into the brake. Just not in those words. I flip the wipers off. For a moment there I see it, my every gesture a thesis. She knows them all -- by heart.


239. Another impossible puzzle that husband and I do together.

240. The volley of conversation and rhythm of silence as we lean over the puzzle and press pieces into place.

241. A date with Jane.

242. Rowdy boy cousins (the good kind of rowdy) who come to play trains and disturb nary a puzzle piece.

243. Baked. Potato. Soup. My hugest stock pot full up of baked potato soup.

244. Piles of fabric organized into stacks of color and stripe.

245. A clock, a new clock! The old-fashioned face kind.

246. A couple of new shirts in sensible black and white.

247. Another day with my children -- healthy, whole, content.

248. Cereal and coffee every morning. The kind of cereal with pecans in.

249. A morning run again and again. Every day. But Sunday.

250. The way my children sword-fight and fight-the-bad-guys still for pretend.

251. The children's new toothpaste, same as when I was a kid. Mmmmm. Sorry Mom, I used to eat it straight out of the tube. So far I've only caught Lulie "brushing" her teeth that way.

252. Stripe blue knee socks turned into baby leg warmers.

253. Children played out all tired-to-the-bone and now asleep after the cousins drive home.

254. The miracle of good work turned exhaustion turned sleep.

holy     experience


Goat said...

Children under the age of 6 memorize. It is their passion. It is never so easy as then. Of course, we think memorizing is about words, but more probably it is setting the template for life. Emma Jane hasn't missed a thing.

Your brother Peter is the only one who doesn't like peppermint. S'pose he ate too much toothpaste way back when? I just sayin.....

Cheri said...

Awesome how our little ones know us so well! And baked.potato.soup. YUMMMY! Great to be in community with you. Blessed by your post.

Kathleen@so much to say, so little time said...

Wow, you just never know what the little ones are picking up on! If we thought about it too often it would be terrifying, wouldn't it? Having that kind of power & responsibility?

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

I love baked potato of my favorite parts of fall!

Rhonda Schrock said...

I love rowdy boy cousins. Coffee in the morning. Running in the morning (after that morning coffee).

Thank you for sharing your list.

Rachelle said...

A perfect example of just how influential parenats are on their kiddos. It's quite eye opening...I'm learning a lot just by reading your experiences. Hope I can be as good of an influence on my boys as you are with your kids.

And baked potatoe soup?! YUMMO! Just out of curiosity, how big is your biggest pot? Oh wait, let me guess. I bet you don't have to cook dinner for at least a week!! :) Haha!

Craig and Bethany said...

Totally! :) A genius recipe (thanks Cerissa), big old stock pot and wallah, meals for a whole week.

Glad to hear your voice! Those boys will be comin' any day now, I bet. You and Ben are already GREAT parents.

Pig Woman said...

Hey, I am thinking I would like to have this baked potato soup recipe. Think you could send it my way, Bethany?

A difficult task, some hard work and "THAT is PERFECT, because I DID it." Janie has already mastered the only true formula for self-esteem.

Daniel and Cerissa said...

Beware of the Baked Potato Soup. Start making it and your husband will routinely beg you for years to keep it comin'. :D

My rowdy boys LOVE Sunday nights at Aunt Bethany's. Thanks for the fellowship, friend :)

emily wierenga said...

she knows you... oh, what a privilege to be known by ones so close to him. and you are beautiful friend--i love seeing your photo here :)

Kerrie said...

lovely list. Thanks for sharing it. Giving thanks with you...

deb said...

so beautiful as always.

Lori said...

What a sweetheart! Great job, Mama!

Nona Yerbiznus said...

That kid makes me smile. Big. =D