Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Breech Baby

No-make-up-me and sweet baby. 35 wks.

Doc says she's breech. My ribs agree.

So pretty please, little miss, do me a somersault.

The rest of you feel free to say a little prayer. :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Holding My Baby

I get up. A living room floor littered with games and pre-breakfast fun greets me. I pour oats and flax and berries, start the microwave, call for my children. The two little ones sweep Chutes and Ladders into the Candy Land box and knock a deck of cards out of the cabinet.

Little black baby doll in tow, Jane bounds into the kitchen. "Hey Momma," she hugs her baby, "can I keep holding my baby before I clean up, and while I clean up, and after I clean up?" She smiles at baby. "Because the simple things really matter," she says.

Simple things.

"Sure." I smile too. The baby in my belly kicks. I reach for a coffee cup, "Sure, honey." She's already out directing traffic.

Simple things.

What are your simple things?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Thanks, Auntie Cerissa, Uncle Dan, and the wild boy cousins.

Now the kids are BONKERS

about WORMS!

Welcome to the worm mansion.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Palace

"Come into my palace," she says. And the remnants of a garden transform like Cinderella's pumpkin. "Come on, you guys." Old tomato stakes turn into javelin. Gray sunflower skeletons rise into the walls of a palace. They stomp and scuffle through dirt, raise clouds of dust. "It's the best part," she says, the dust. Lulie scoops up piles of earth, puffs them down into her lap. Scoop, scoop, more dust.

From far off I hear Jane call, "Momma, you're highly favored!"

Later, freshly scrubbed, my children fall into bed. I tuck them in like fresh laundry, smell their sweet skin. As I turn to pull shut the door Jack calls, "Sleep good, my angel!" And I tip-toe down the hall, all my world a palace.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Beating Game

{A Tutorial on How to Win}

"'I beat you," Janie chirps. "I won." All blue eyes and grin, she reaches for the leftover olives.

"Nuh uh," Jack garbles. Burrito bulges in his cheeks. "I turned OFF the beating game," he says and opens his eyes real wide.

"So." Jane mimics the eyes, "I still beat you."

"I turned OFF the beating game."


"Well, you finished first anyway," I say. "You didn't tell him you were racing, honey." I reach for her plate and sidle it into the dishwasher.

Jane momentarily interrupts the stand-off, "Well Momma, that's the only way I think I can win."

Haha, anyone else remember any handy tricks to winning?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Gift

"Momma, I had mercy on Jane." Jack tiptoes into my room.

I sigh and rub the short night of sleep from my eyes. "You did?" He nods. "I'm so proud of you."

Jane shrugs, "And I whispered in his ear, 'I love you. I'm almost to cry I love you so much,'" she says.

I toss my feet out of bed and the whole morning cascades like a symphony into motion, perfectly in tune. The gift of grace.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


We eat oats for breakfast. On bright mornings when the table shines with sun I see a hundred hand-prints scattered around bowls and crumbles. Janie still chews on after I clear dishes and spoons, sippers of milk and coffee cups.

Between bites she drawls on, "Momma, how about we call Fridays, Gray Friday, I mean Black Friday," she swallows, "because that was when the sky turned black."

"The sky turned black?"

"Yeah, like when Jesus died." It's her favorite story. She flutters on. Ravens feed Elijah, and Joseph's brothers sell him into slavery, Esther, David, adventures of playing spiders with Jack, games of Billy Goats Gruff. Her words, a river of days, rush past me.

The bowl half empty, the table cleared and wiped, Janie leans on one elbow. "Hey Momma, in heaven will there be something greater than talking do you think?"

Talking. She blinks. For a moment we both wait. "Probably."

She grins, "What could it be?! Oh, I wonder what it could be." And a small pool of quiet is washed away with the wonder.

What could be better than talking?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


"She's probably the size of a sparkle!" Jack pinches his fingers together.

"Probably the size of a mustard seed," Janie says.

A sparkle. A mustard seed. A new life. My friend is pregnant with a miracle.

Don't all children pray for miracles?

And I suppose like faith, they sparkle and grow out of tiny mustard seeds.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


"Here, just reach out your golden septor when you want someone to come." Jane grabs an old pink hanger out of Jack's hands, and points it at Lulie, "See, like this. You can come now Lulie." Lucy grins and barrels up onto the hearth, a pile of royal pillows and blankies.

"I wanna be Queen Esther," Jack says.

"You can't."

"I wanna be Esther!"

After a spell of yelling and haranguing on the pink hanger Jane settles the matter, "You can't. It's like how I can have babies and you can't."

"Because she's a girl and you're a boy," I call from the kitchen.

Jane raises her eyebrows, "It's like that. It doesn't really make sense."

"Oh, ok." Jack plays Mordecai.

Friday, March 5, 2010


Jane and Jack prospect the yard. An old sprinkler joint from the repair bin, last year's gooseberry netting, cardboard, branches, leaves, a hand trowel, the occasional marble or bead or smooth stone, they gather treasure.

Lulie knows the game. Dirt and all.

I squeeze into a child-sized picnic seat and warm my face in the sun. "I'm exhausted."

"Hey Momma," Janie looks up, "ask God, if you want to be tough." I watch her eyes, smooth lakes of blue. "Have you asked Him?"

Oh. Nope. I was just gonna suffer through. Silly me.