"Ugh. I'm so not a dog person," the words whip off my tongue. I wipe tufts of dog hair out of the washer. It clumps, sticks to the door window.
Jane hovers at my elbow, peers around me. I scrub the rubber seal and grumble. Jack and Lulie peek around the corner.
I slop wet dog-towels into the dryer, flop the door shut. "Yuck."
Jane raises her eyebrows, blinks, "Is it because you don't want to take care of them?" she says. I pick dog hair from between my fingers, try to deflate my frown. She stares.
I sigh. "No, I just don't want the washer full of hair."
The morning tumbles to motion with showers and apple cinnamon oatmeal. I diaper Rosie and make ponytails in the girls' hair. Lucy eats beans for breakfast, the ones she wouldn't eat for last night's dinner.
We even get to church early.
When I stand and sing, Jane's words come back to me. ...because you don't want to take care of them? The dogs. I pause, hang my head. Take care of them. It wasn't just dog hair; it was an invite, an opening to give and serve and make every trial small for my children's wide eyes. An opening. Too bad.
I pray for rivulets of grace.
506. Lucy unfazed by a dog bite.
507. Knitting small striped pants for Rosie. Apple red - soft yellow - turquoise - sage.
508. A new book of stamps and letters to write.
509. Extra candy canes saved up for homemade marshmallows.
510. How a water main burst and sop-soaked carpet and still my mother-in-law is the bright sun of optimism.
511. Grammie's hearing gradually better.
512. That we live in a country where colonoscopies are really considered no big deal. (?!)
513. Janie's careful observance of the cloth diapers and attempt at adult conversation, "So Momma, how is the cloth going?"
514. How stinkin' cute little Rosie's bum is all diapered up.
515. Pop-guns and hunting bears and lions in the basement with cousins.
516. Clear roads for morning runs even if the wind nearly rips you to ribbons.
517. My mom coming at o'dark hundred to watch the kids while we go to the doc.
518. Sewing with Jane.
519. A scarf with pockets and heart buttons that she made all herself.
520. Tuesday afternoons with my mom.
521. New dishes, white.
522. A night out. A date. A booth with high backs. Pop-overs. Fish. Coconut cake.
523. That after 10 years I like Craig more than when we met.
524. Nine bananas in the fruit basket, black for bread.
525. Influence with my children.
526. Lord, cover my imperfection.
527. Another week. Another try. More dog hair and trials and wide child-eyes.