"Momma, Lucy's hanging on the dresser and about to fall off!" Jane and Jack thump bare feet down the hall. "Momma!" they shout.
I follow their bluster, peel little fingers off dresser top.
"What were you doing on here?" I hold Lu dangled mid air. "What were you doing?"
She kicks the air. "I was looking for the MOON."
I buoy piggy-tails up to the window. "See?"
"She thought the moom fell in the yard," Jane pipes from top bunk.
"Yeah, I tot it fell in the yard."
"Oh." We stare at the back fence. "Nope." I swing red jammie-feet into bed. "Here you go." She rubs a jersey edge of blankie on her cheek, sucks thumb.
I snuggle down next to her, and she plops blankie-B on my chest. We pull denim covers under our chins.
"I'm born," Lulie says.
She hugs her shoulders. "Is the Rosie born?"
"Yup. Do you know what born means?"
"It means you popped out."
"Out of Mommy's tummy?"
"Oh." She nuzzles blankie, gives a few sucks on thumb.
"I'm gonna beat you to sleep," she marbles around thumbie.
"I'm gonna beat you to sleep because you aren't suckin' your thumb."
"Oh." I smile, poke her with my elbow. She grins. We lay still and let the night roll in.
608. Lentil soup simmered hot.
609. Coconut milk, rosemary, made-from-scratch stock.
610. Celery, carrots, and onion chopped by Janie, Jack, and Lu while I nurse Rose.
611. Hand-me-downs orbited into bins and sweet, sweet organization.
612. Friend's insistence that it would be fun to help. Fun?!
613. A splashy kitchen apron, all flowers and a pocket with green polka-dot button.
614. A new jacket, the kind momma accidentally shrunk to just my size.
615. Lucy, blanket wadded, "This one is NEWBORN," she says. Newborn-blankie.
616. How she thanks Jesus for DUMPLIN'. And I have to ask and ask before I finally understand she calls her babies, Dumplin'.
617. Fresh apples, fresh grapes, yellow bananas.
618. Dinner guests that captivate us with stories of gangs and travel, football and gambling, their wide smiles, and belly laughs, and how he says, "Pretty soon I didn't hold back at all and just asked whatever question I wanted." And Christ's love tumbled between the stories and his wife's smile when he remembers their anniversary.
619. A honeydew melon.
620. Strong Daddy-arms that carry croupy-boy out in the cold night.
621. Husband's smile when I make another apron and wear it around. And how he wants to know if it's for always or a Scottish thing or what.
622. How Janie says the apron is outstanding, just outstanding.
623. Jane's grin, front teeth gone.
624. Her braids, her curls, her questions, a million questions a story, like," What sort of face do you think they were making when that happened, Momma?"
625. The simple discipline of sleep. How enough sleep makes everything two clicks nicer.
626. How Jack changes the sheets on his own bed and Jane throws in a load of laundry when she runs out of unders.
627. Still happy about another Rose in the family.
628. Jonathan Swift and the part of Gulliver's Travels where the Liliputians war over how to crack an egg, as in fight a blood-soaked war over how to crack an egg.
629. How Jack tells me that Malkus is the name of the servant whose ear gets cut off by Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane.
630. Mother-in-law dropped by to visit.
631. My friend Emily, pregnant -- a BOY.
632. How Rosie waves bye to Daddy up on an elbow across the room if we forget to prop her up with us at the door.
633. How her daddy chooses to see the best in me.
634. Every day more content.