"Here, let me see," I hold my hand out to Jane. She nabs her journal, jaunts around the coffee table. I shimmy out of the deep black couch, see-saw Joe's drowsy head in the crook of my arm. She flops the notebook open, thrusts it toward me.
"Joseph loved his father," I read.
She points to the looping gray. "If you love, you have a good result," she says and pokes the sentence next to O for Observation.
"That's true." I nod, sway Joe at the corner of my elbow. He nuzzles close.
Jane lowers the tatter cornered journal. Myra cockles from the bedroom, but that notebook between us, that bass note of a notebook humming, reverberating, we let the moment elongate and stretch. I nod again, the perpetual motion a sway of newborn comfort.
"Almost anything," Jane finally says, "if you love, you have a good result." She dips her head, "If you love and you don't keep any secrets, you have a good result." She nods in that grown-up way. I furrow my brow, and we bob our heads.
"Huh," I say. "That's true."
Love, and have no secrets. The moment skitters back to motion and we carry on, the secret inside: Love, no secrets.
3609. "We all have different ways we hug you," Lucy says as I make the rounds to hug each child.
3610. "I want to hug Momma more," Jane announces.
3611. And, "Jack," she says, "stop fighting against Mother. You'll never win."
3612. I stumble upon another quote, "The impatient Christian is a weapon in Satan's hand." ~C. Missler.
3613. "Orangoutangs are the most intelligent animal," I say, "I didn't know that." The children look at each other. "Even more than chickens?!" Jane says.
3614. Myra spits at the dinner table. When we frown and gasp. She panics and licks it up.
3615. Creamy soup with rice and lemon, we share it at Mom's.
3616. We carry on in Revelation. Even the children want to know about it.
3617. Jack crunches an apple and reads to Joey. Joe studies his face, watches Jack's mouth.
3618. "You guys don't get elephant skin, I don't think," Lu remarks. "I got elephant skin. Like Uncle Dan."
3619. Baby melons on the counter, love from the farm, we eat them, juice dripped down our chins and on the floor.
3620. The phone rings during dinner. "I'm not going to answer that," I say. "Mom, toll free," Myra shouts.
3621. The kids and I have Writer's Workshop.
3622. Pesto chicken, crockpot special, invented from what we had.
3623. Jane reads her Bible, a dolly slung up on her shoulder.
3624. Lucy tries to rehydrate a black marker on the way to Grandad and Grammie's. I bust up laughing at her jet black lips.
3625. We make celebration of the August and September birthdays with a party, swirling bliss of children and adults, a carnival of family.
3626. Virtue. We name our favorite things about the birthday girls and boy this past year and replay before our eyes, virtue. Whatever is good, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things. And so we do.
3627. New clothes for fall, a birthday gift, the felicity of feeling pretty.
3627. "I stepped in some bear poop in the orchard," Janie announces, "and it had plum pits in it."
3628. We pick 12 gallons of plums in the snarled old orchard.
3629. We can plums late into the night, the first five gallons a grid of purply red quart jars.
3630. Craig and I pause to crunch rice krispy bars and stare at the old hand-me-down bin still half full of plums. "Ya know," Craig blurts between bites, "that is a lot of plums." He sets me to giggles. We shake our heads, smiles wide, laughs full.
3631. Myra blisses out over piles of plums. One here, a handful there, it's hard to say how many she ate. And so contrite when everything turned terribly stinky and messy, she hopped in the bath and covered herself head to toe in conditioner.
3632. Jack confesses to growing his fingernails long to try to grow claws.
3633. The children awake from Sunday naps. "Change into dirty clothes and you can dig worms," I say, "as long as you fill in the holes." They whoop and holler and, rapturous, tumble out the back door.
3634. Myra bites off little bits of plum and stuffs them in her dolly's mouth.
3635. "Are you trying to make it look like actually you?" Jack asks as I process a photo.
3636. Actually me. Another good week.