"Do you think we'll have legs in heaven?" Jane pulls a flannel quilt up on one shoulder, sidles down under it's wings. "Legs to walk," she says.
"I think so." I elbow over the bunk rail, stand tip-toe on the bottom bed. "What do you think?"
She sways curls over jammied shoulders. "Nope. Wings. Wings to fly." She captures my eyes. "In heaven we won't need to walk. We'll just fly."
"Hmm. Fly." I snug the flannel in tight around her six-year-old self. Of course, we'll just fly.
I pad bare feet down the hall. Christmas words circle back soft in my ear, You're the best part of my day, husband says. And, You make everything make sense, I say. And it does.
Between flying in heaven and husband's words, Christmas unfolds, another Christmas, down the hallway and into the evening. Christmastide.
449. Child-wrapped presents, lots of tape.
450. Gelatin, radiant, sprayed kitchen-aid-mixer style all over the kitchen.
451. Rapturous grins the children try to hide.
452. Peppermint marshmallows.
453. More wrapping paper than ever and tape and markers and scissors and an assembly line the kids set up that manages to cover every lumpy present with paper and tape of some sort.
454. Janie's reminders, "You guys remember, Christmas is really about GIVING gifts."
455. A clock. The clock. One that chimes and makes Great-Grammie cry.
456. Open arms that welcome us, that hold the door between trips to the car, and carry our children 'round piggy-back.
457. Gifts. So many gifts of love. And the uncanny feeling that someone has read your mind.
458. Being truly, genuinely, completely, utterly surprised.
459. How the children laughed and played and played and laughed and no one begged to open presents.
460. And the gifts, every one, love made flesh.
461. Alice in Wonderland. Reading to the children. How they snuggle bumped under my elbows and chin and press in close to see the words and stare into space to picture the story.
462. Books, books, books galore! The classics. Peter Pan, Les Miserables, Oliver Twist, Gulliver's Travels.
463. Janie learning to sew.
464. How Lulie explains that she doesn't have to wear patches anymore now that she's two when I forget to patch her for a day.
465. The way red nail polish chips off and leaves white nails underneath.
466. A full pot of stew, three loaves of banana bread, and a tidy kitchen.
467. Time off with husband and how even if the house gets messy we just step careful and be together and make time go slow.
468. How even though little Rose has a fever she cuddles extra long and smiles when I kiss her feet.