"If you throw Rosie up in the air," Lucy tosses her arms, "Rosie will fly." She wrinkles her chin, "She will fly like an angel."
I nod. She flaps her arms, "Like this."
We sit puddled in afternoon light.
"I sometimes when I'm holding her," Jane says, "I whisper good things in her ear." We smile, blink eyes to each other.
Later it's Girls' Club and we sew on down by the fire.
My machine jumbles. I snap a needle clean off, my last one. "Uh-oh." I snip a snarl of white thread. "Jane, if you give me a needle, I'll pay you back."
We rip open a fresh green pack, slide it in place. "There. Thank-you."
She wheedles around my elbow, watches the needle jump to life. I slip my arm around her waist. The evening seamless, unrolls.
Jane pins her pattern. Lulie licks the polka-dot and terry scraps, pastes them together without pins. "Eww." She grins. We shrug. I trim more strings.
"I just have a good feeling inside because I shared my needle with you, Momma," Jane rests her head on my shoulder. "Daddy's right. You never regret being generous."
I cradle her in the crook of my neck, "Yup."
"I'm so happy I shared my needle with you."
The evening whirls past dinner and into bed.
"Help our whole family to praise God. Just make us praise you," Jack prays.
"And thank-you for Jack and Lucy." Jane says. "Help us to see all the blessings you've provided for us. Amen."
588. Jane leaned on my shoulder.
589. A needle to finish the last six inches of seam
590. Green moss poked up between dead flower stems.
591. Jane dressed up and off to a dance with Grandad.
592. Rose eating a whole half-a-sandwich.
593. A new sister-to-be, another ROSE.
594. A June wedding, my last brother turned husband.
595. Roast carrots, roast onions, roast potatoes, roast beef and cherry crisp. Farm food. The best company and just plain being spoiled.
596. A whole afternoon out with my momma. Coffee, a danish, conversation that trails on from bistro table to grocery isle.
597. A baby shower. Making bright shower gifts. Bibs, leg warmers, ribbons and tags.
598. Husband's hand on my shoulder, "How was your day?" and, "Tell me more." And how the day eases in soft on his broad back.
599. How I pray for strength, and the Lord gives patience; but somehow it turns into strength anyway.
600. Lucy's comment, "I get a day off from my patch. Now I get to be like Jane and Jack," but how she blinks serious when I tell her I'm proud of her patching everyday. Her stalwart, indomitable spirit.
601. How Jack eats peanut-butter-and-jelly crust first to save the soft middle for last.
602. Another boy-cousin birthday party.
603. Rosie almost crawling as she mops my floors with her belly.
604. Baby outfit, marine blue and lime green, stripes, ruffles, and buttons.
605. The soft howl of croup coughs that hasn't turned nasty.
606. The reminder: when you feel most annoyed with your child is when you should draw them the closest.
607. Actually doing it.