Sunday, November 14, 2010
"And some day," I say, "you'll grow up and leave home." I smile to Jack, "And, I'll come over, and pick up your kids, and hug them, and hold them, and say, 'Oh, you are co cute!'" He opens his blue eyes wide like plums.
Janie smashes her dinner roll flat like a tortilla. "And someday when YOU leave home," I say. She smiles back, passes a deflated roll over for butter. I smear butter to the edges with the back of a baby spoon and finish with, "I'll hug them and hold them and say, 'Oh, you are co cute!'"
Lulie grins and pounds the table, "And when YOU grow up and leave home," I say. She giggles. The words come out like a Christmas jingle. Then, I sing to Rosie too, and the girls chortle and bump elbows.
"All right now," I say just as Janie almost drags her hair through baked potato soup. "All right," I turn to Jack. Wide blue eyes blink, "Are you okay?" He blinks again and blanches right before my eyes, all splotchy red. "Honey?"
A lip quiver. I furrow my brow. "Oh," I tilt my head. "Oh honey, are you afraid you'll have to leave HOME?"
With that little boy dissolves into a sprinkler of tears. "Uh, huh," he sobs. His little four-year-old hands wrap python-style around my neck. He rubs his face in my ear.
"Oh, honey, you don't have to leave. You don't have to leave." He snuffs. "That's just when you're a grown-up. A GROWN-UP." He squeezes tighter.
Finally, he snuffs and slips into my lap. His little boy head bobs and bumps my chin, an anchor in my arms.
322. Little boy who calls to screaming Rosie, "Hold on baby, I have to do my job," and scrapes onion scraps into the garbage.
323. Janie who tells Jack, "I'm being my name. Jane means God is gracious," and ignores his boy-pokes.
324. Lulie decked out in striped stretch pants and white shorts for bed when she can't find jammies.
325. Rosie smilin' and smilin' and smilin' all blissed-out at daddy.
326. A haul of carrots and potatoes with Craig's mom, good food and even better company.
327. The boxes of books Momma and I wrestle down stairs, the years of love that spille out as I trundle each spine to a new home on our shelves.
328. Dad spry and chipper after surgery -- makes recovery look simple.
329. Baked potato soup (thanks for the recipe, Ceris) and all the guests we share it with -- lots and lots and MORE yet.
330. Twin boys growing and nursing like champs for a dear friend.
331. A sweet, SWEET girl to be born on Wednesday. My NIECE!
332. Her brave momma steeled for a c-section if she stays breech by then.
333. Homemade ice cream made with homemade vanilla.
334. Gingersnaps with cayenne.
335. A fireplace and Mt. Everest of wood stacked husband-straight.
336. Jungle Book, 1894 original story.
337. Compliments from Craig.
338. A late night puzzling with my grown up little brother while Craig snores on the couch.
339. Packing and planning and writing lists for Thanksgiving.
340. A big hard back book of World War II that Jack pours over in search of The Battle of the Bulge.
341. A box spilling with fabric, remnants of a wedding shop, and the friend who brought it.
342. Banana bread, the kind with 5 bananas in it and no eggs, magnificent.
343. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and the raucous cousin-filled house that devoured them.
344. Coffee and conversation with their momma.
345. Lucy's eyesight and how she told me twice in one day when the contact popped out and how we found it both times.