"Remember Momma, 'bout what we talked about on our walk," Jack says. "Remember, Momma," he calls.
Craig and I balance a banana plant between us. Roots upturned and leaves laid sideways, it flops on the dining table. "Remember, Momma," Jack repeats.
I unfurl a plastic trash bag. We guide muss of root ball into bag, sigh at the dirt dust on our toes. "Oh, I do," I nod to red-headed boy.
"Remember, Momma," he whispers. He yoinks his eyebrows, wrinkles his forehead, and mouths the words: OUR DATE.
I nod, balance gangly banana leaf arms, and mouth back: I KNOW.
Then it's lemon bread and black coffee, a red arm chair and a wooden coffee table. He holds the door and holds my hand. He asks the barista for peppermints from the big red bowl. We settle in.
"We're gonna play I Cut You Choose," I say. "That means whoever cuts the treat, the other person gets to choose the piece they want."
"I want you to cut."
"I'm gonna take the littler piece," he says off hand and then squints and studies and measures to find the littler one. We scoot the pieces into place.
"Grammie's getting taken care of by God," Jack says. He maneuvers a plum-sized chunk of lemon bread into his mouth.
"That's true," I say. "What do you mean?"
He licks a yellow crumb off his lip. "Grammie's getting taken care of by God when no one's there," he says his cheeks round with lemon. He licks at more crumble stuck around his mouth.
I carve my slice into bites. They squish soft in my mouth. He crumbles more lemon onto the jute rug.
"Did you know God's watching over you when no one's there, just like Grammie," I say.
He scoops up more lemon, his fork awkward and full. "Uh-huh," he nods, slurps chocolate milk.
We nibble down to the plate, wash down the dregs of coffee and milk. "So what makes today good for you?" I say.
He slurps, pauses, "Just goin' on a date with you."
761. More avocados.
762. Black shell peeled back, pit smooth as stone, we eat the green flesh, carve it out with salted tortilla chips and talk on into the afternoon, nourished.
763. Outside recess with the kids and cousins in the whipping wind and mid-day sun.
764. Rosy cheeks, cold fingers, children out of breath on dirt hills and a sideways piece of culvert.
765. Soft cheeks on afternoon pillows -- warmth and sleep encased.
766. Momma's blog.
767. A new friend.
768. New friends for my children.
769. How Janie practices saying sorry to a friend and it's not so hard and I don't supervise or make sure it happens, just ask her later, and we talk.
710. 51 tomato seedlings repotted in paper pots with mother-in-law's careful tutelage.
771. Lunch AND dinner on the farm and her sincere, "What you have to remember Bethany, is that it's not imposing. You're FAMILY."
772. Lulie's earache healed.
773. A date with husband for yogurt and coffee and grocery isle wandering.
774. How he speaks kindly to me.
775. How he never complains -- even when his back hurts a whole week straight.
776. Almond milk homemade in the blender with vanilla and dates for sweetness.
777. Good advice to eat lots of plants and I'll feel better.