Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ice Cream

"I think, Great-grandad and Kevin," Janie says. She furrows her brow, "And, you and Daddy and Rosie."

I pull around onto Sunset Boulevard. "Really? That's who you'd like to meet out of everyone in the whole world alive or dead?"

She nods. "Yeah." Two in heaven, three on Earth.

"Ok. What if you could have any question answered and know for sure that the answer was TRUE."

She tilts her head, squints, "Hmm." We pull under an overpass. Afternoon sun swells at our back. "This is gonna sound sort of funny," she says, "but I really want to know when," she annunciates with her lips, "they make the donuts." She waves the air, "Do they just use the donuts from the day before? Or do they come in 'bout the middle of the night to make them?"

"Well, that's a good question." I sail us over Paradise Valley, little black pick-up our chariot. "Maybe someday we'll figure it out." We linger in black pick-up's warm belly, then walk in step to the gallery meeting. Full of heaven and donuts and words shared like communion, another moment spins, plunks into a reservoir between us.


677. Almost gone ice cream carton, six sticky fingers.

678. New soaker pants, bright polka-dot and chocolate brown.

679. Fat green grapes.

680. C.S. Lewis' assessment that pride is ruthless, sleepless, unsmiling concentration on the self.

681. Keller's counterpoint that humility isn't thinking less of yourself; it's thinking of yourself less.

682. Rosie asleep on my back in orange backpack.

683. Another gallop around the block and Jane's assessment, "I think you're gonna be forced to use that backpack a lot more."

684. Peanut-butter and jelly picnic at the park. Brisk wind, flushed cheeks.

685. Jane's small hand in mine when we caper up the gallery stairs to fetch a paper for the meeting.

686. Her insistance that she sit in the meeting, not leave to meet Sidney the soft black puppy.

687. A dozen ropes of red licorice we share.

688. House at Pooh Corner and how the children giggle over the heffalump and Pooh's songs.

689. How Lulie wads the bathroom rug, jams it in the washer to cure a smudge that musta been poo.

690. How she scrubs it with disinfectant wipes first and then thoughtfully stuffs them back in the package.

691. How Jack clips his own fingernails.

692. How he hands me snaps one at a time as I plier them on to the new soakers.

693. Cousin birthday party and how Jane moves a mountain of school work to come.

694. The gathering of family, BIG family, and the devotion we feel to each person.

695. Tall girl cousin who whisks the children away for an hour of bliss and pretend.

696. Another breakfast with Grandad and how Jane has me re-tie her shoes to make sure they are extra tight.

697. Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol, from thrift store shelf, and Janie's plea, "I just can't wait for you to read more of that."

698. Husband who wipes the table and counters smooth and fresh for morning, shines them up like love.

699. His unflappable, deliberate moves to serve me and bless me and give and give and how my pride bows checkmate to his ways.

holy     experience


  1. Where do I begin? I love your list, especially this... "how my pride bows checkmate to his ways."... certainly the puzzle-y, game-ing family :)

    Love how you call the pants, "soakers" and how just miles apart makes us use different terminology.

    I can't believe how gorgeously bigger Rosie is! I haven't seen a photo of her lately, I think.

    And... twelvishness is the same as Jane, only better :)

  2. You really have a gift for drawing out and highlighting all the intricacies of each of your children...and hubby too. I'm over here taking notes!! :)

    P.S. - Love how Lulie cleans the rug! And how much fun it must have been to eat ice cream out of the carton!

  3. Always enjoy reading your list! I love the dynamic between you and your kids. Lovely writing as well.

  4. oh wow. Last one i REALLY loved.
    Thank you for sharing.

  5. oh, the pride and the bowing checkmate -- yes, yes, friend.

    your photos today are Rockwell and beautiful, but i'm reeling over #680 and #681 because i stood gape-mouthed at the sink the other day before writing that very same quote on a water-stained post-it note.

    of all the sermons in the world, you heard that one, too? i can't tell you how it stung -- and how i'd love to be unpacking it all over coffee with you, friend.

  6. 682 was my favorite ;) ...followed closely by 689 and 690(too funny!)

    Your list is a highlight of my Monday, thank you!


  7. Such a great post today! I was facinated with the answers your child gave you. Yeah! I wonder when they make the donuts, too!

    Love all the hands in the ice cream carton!!!!! Just a perfect picture!

  8. Lulie is a girl after my own heart.

    C.S. tells truth like no other.

    Janie tells the truth without apology. Answer the questions that are close to you. Donuts. And the answers to those questions make the abstract questions of life seem irrelevant. I need that.

    Let me know about when donuts are made.

  9. you always ask the right questions, dear bethany, and this... this loving your children by caring, this is what shines through them, post after post...

  10. wow! always so enjoy reading! you suck me into your little piece of Heaven, the snapshot of grace-filled moments. I saw Ann's blog first, and she, along with you, has inspired me to begin writing again and create a blog of my own--what a joy! im taking life slower and just drinking in beauty--its purposeful. God and His grace is in everything. LOVE sticky fingers, the rug wiped with disinfectant and stuffed in the washer, love your thoughtfulness on husband shining up countertops with love--this encourages and inspires me to think on what i can be thankful pride bows checkmate--i will have to think on this..i have read others' blogs--you have something special here. thank you SO much, Bethany, for writing and allowing us to be apart!

  11. Kids and their questions! Sometimes, they're so deep. And sometimes,we just have to stifle a giggle.