Sunday, October 3, 2010
"I'm gonna tell you something, Momma," Janie says. "Well, well," I watch her raised eyebrows, "it's kinda SCARY," she pauses, "but I had a stick, and Jack had a sword. And there was a BEE'S nest," she opens her eyes real wide, "with bees STILL in it. And Jack just kept hitting it and hitting it. And I just poked my stick in it, and SHOVED it off, and RAN!" With that, she grins and bounds out of the kitchen into the yard.
A moment later, at my elbow, "You have to be really BRAVE to do this, but I'm gonna do it a SECOND time. A second time, Momma." She lopes out of the kitchen, Jack on her heels.
"We did it AGAIN!" they cry as they pitch the back screen open.
"Nice job fighting the battle," I say. "Wow. Don't get stung now."
"We won't," Janie shrugs, "because we RUN."
"Yeah, we run," Jack repeats. "And we're brave enough."
"We're brave enough. You can tell Daddy that," Janie calls as they trundle out again.
"Be careful," I call, "Bees will come out and attack you."
"REALLY?" Jack stops, makes his blue eyes round like marbles.
"Yeah." I copy his eyes.
"Well, we already did it," he says.
"And well, we're brave," Janie adds.
With that they timber out the back.
219. A big mountain of popcorn in the huge silver bowl.
220. Cinnamon rolls. "It's the sabbath," they say, "the day Jesus rose from the DEAD. Can we celebrate with cinnamon rolls?" Lulie insists the cinnamon is chocolate.
221. A road trip to Grampa's cabin.
222. A late night of cards with Grampa and how we all played Solitaire.
223. How a brown bear that tried to break in to the cabin while Grampa was gone, hasn't come back.
224. A lock on the front door, the one with teeth marks from the bear.
225. The pistols Grampa and Craig carry on our walks.
226. Jack's laugh of relief when I tell him Daddy and Grampa will bring their guns.
227. The sound of, "Hi, Great-Grampa," as our children tumble out of the cabin loft while Craig and I sleep.
228. The pictures our children make for Grampa all on their own. And how Janie slips in to hide hers on Grampa's pillow for him.
229. The stories Grampa tells me about being a boy in the 1920's.
230. The converse tennis shoes we've found at thrift stores. They look just like the ones Grampa wore when he was a boy.
231. The generations of right living passed on from father to child to child until great-great-grandchildren of good men hold on to a legacy.
232. How Grampa hands me paper towels when Lulie throws-up on the cabin stairs. And how it's just water she barfs, and then it passes, and no one gets sick.
233. Coffee. Did I mention the coffee? Grampa brews us coffee in his fancy coffee machine.
234. Husband who drives all legs of the journey, packs the car, carries everything in, re-packs the car, and hauls it all back inside at home.
235. Husband's strong arms that carry Lulie when her small feet grow too cold to wade.
236. How husband collapses into a beanbag at the end of long days and still makes conversation.
237. That this steady rudder of a man never gets angry. Oh, how I've tested him in this. Still, he never responds in kind.
238. How I am humbled by his kindness -- to me. Many, many kindnesses.