Sunday, December 19, 2010
"Is it sometimes hard when you're the smartest person in the room?" Janie wants to know.
Later, Jack bobs through the kitchen in blue jammies, "We played Go Fish, and Janie won," he jabbers, "but I'm gonna be first in heaven." His bare feet pad down the basement stairs. I make oatmeal with lots of cinnamon and some apples.
At bedtime, Janie tells me, "I heard Lucy say, 'Jesus come into my heart,' and I asked her if she loves Jesus and she said, 'Yes.'" Jane runs the words together, but warns us that Lucy probably doesn't really understand.
I tuck the sheets in snug, kiss her neck, "I love you, Jane."
Jack rubs my face and smooths my hair back.
"You make me happy," I whisper to Lulie and she nods, sucks thumbie.
Another day winds down.
422. Go Fish. And teeny tiny playing cards.
423. Chex mix made with Grampa's secret recipe, the one we thought passed on with him.
424. A batch big enough to fill a garbage sack made by sister-in-law.
425. Early Christmas and an overnight sleep at my parents with brothers and families and kids everywhere.
426. A Christmas pageant with cousins, one with towels and scarves and headbands with flowers, and how Uncle Peter had to be Joseph because all the boys wanted to be wise men. But Mary didn't mind. And no one minded that we all had to pretend that Zeke's stuffed owl was baby Jesus because all the real babies were asleep. But all the wise men still bowed down to the baby Jesus, and we acted out the story.
427. How Janie sat and nibbled Christmas candy with the grown-ups while we played Balderdash.
428. The riotous laughter.
429. The letter I wrote to George, the boy we sponsor in Adiedo, Kenya. His mother and father have both died. He's eleven.
430. The picture Jack drew of him and George to send with the letter.
431. An old song book of Mother Goose rhymes -- 1906.
432. Another Christmas book, The Gift of the Magi, by O. Henry.
433. Prime rib, baked potato soup.
434. Breakfast and Psalm 19 with Jack while the girls splash in the bath.
435. Bananas black enough to make banana bread and sweet Chinese cinnamon.
436. Nail polish, red -- and how we sit at the breakfast table and polish fingers and toes between bowls of oatmeal.
437. Nice short fingernails, the kind you can play piano with.
438. How Craig never worries about anything. Not a thing.
439. And the unspoken permission to not worry with him.
440. How Rosie plays soft with my hair when she nurses.
441. How the other kids arrange the baby monitor when she sleeps, and how Jack wears both receivers clipped to his pockets to keep an eye on her.
442. How they still try to figure a way to use the monitor as a walkie-talkie.
443. How my brothers all respect my dad and love my mom.
444. Kazoos. A whole army of them on full volume.
445. Jesus. The real Jesus. The one who died for my sins.
446. And the unbelievable, my every wrong is made right in Him. Unbelievable. A miracle.
447. The gentle passing of each day, each one good.