"Momma, why were you just standing there?" Jane asks.
I pull shut the driver's door, "Oh," I say, "it's just so pretty out. I was standing there thinking maybe Jesus would come back just right then." I snap my seatbelt, ease the car into reverse, "But, he didn't so I just thought, Ok. Well, he's with me right here anyway. Then I got in the car." We back up and wheel out out into ice and blue sky. Trees droop with snow.
"God's in the car with us," Jack pipes from the back.
He smiles in the rear-view mirror, "How did you know?" I say, " Did you see him?"
He shakes his head, "I knew," he says "because he is in our hearts."
Janie shakes her head, "I knew, not because anyone told me," she says, "but because HE told me."
I spin out on the snow pack, steady our wheels down the road. HE told me. We settle into the quiet.
Moments flutter by. I hardly take notice. Sunday whittles down bedtime and prayers. "God, thank-you for making Jesus," Jack whispers on bottom bunk, "Actually, thank-you for making Mary so Jesus could be born," he says. "And thank-you for making me and our whole family. Help us grow strong, and healthy, and whole. In Jesus name, AMEN."
Prayer circles around the room. I stop, breathe slow, and try to be still.
470. Orange and green boy hat, knit in the round.
471. Blue bean bags for Craig and me and the kids piled on top.
472. New floor. New floor that takes four days instead of one to install.
473. Husband's unflappable spirit that spends four days on it.
474. Brother-in-law who helps.
475. Sister-in-law, niece, and nephew who juggle children and bins to organize our kids room for me.
476. Working side by side with people we love.
477. Soaking in the art of service from geniuses.
478. New boots, the kind you shouldn't have even tried on, but did, the kind you wished you didn't even known about until you get them as a gift.
479. A mother who shows me every day the dignity and grace of being a woman, how every moment is her best.
480. A miracle, the one we're praying will happen, the one where God heals little Rockie Amelia's hip whole and perfect.
481. That Great-Grammie was ok when the doctor checked the ear that had blood coming out of it. An infection. Antibiotics.
482. Our tree folded down and tucked away for next year.
483. Only one more broken red ball in the process.
484. Blue sky, white snow, dry crisp cold.
485. A new year.
486. Eye contact. My dogged determination to make eye contact with the children. My realization: I must to stop and look at them when they talk. Look. At. Them. So simple. So huge.