Monday, April 11, 2011

The Smaller Piece

"Remember Momma, 'bout what we talked about on our walk," Jack says. "Remember, Momma," he calls.

Craig and I balance a banana plant between us. Roots upturned and leaves laid sideways, it flops on the dining table. "Remember, Momma," Jack repeats.

I unfurl a plastic trash bag. We guide muss of root ball into bag, sigh at the dirt dust on our toes. "Oh, I do," I nod to red-headed boy.

"Remember, Momma," he whispers. He yoinks his eyebrows, wrinkles his forehead, and mouths the words: OUR DATE.

I nod, balance gangly banana leaf arms, and mouth back: I KNOW.

We smile.

Then it's lemon bread and black coffee, a red arm chair and a wooden coffee table. He holds the door and holds my hand. He asks the barista for peppermints from the big red bowl. We settle in.

"We're gonna play I Cut You Choose," I say. "That means whoever cuts the treat, the other person gets to choose the piece they want."

"I want you to cut."


"I'm gonna take the littler piece," he says off hand and then squints and studies and measures to find the littler one. We scoot the pieces into place.

"Grammie's getting taken care of by God," Jack says. He maneuvers a plum-sized chunk of lemon bread into his mouth.

"That's true," I say. "What do you mean?"

He licks a yellow crumb off his lip. "Grammie's getting taken care of by God when no one's there," he says his cheeks round with lemon. He licks at more crumble stuck around his mouth.

I carve my slice into bites. They squish soft in my mouth. He crumbles more lemon onto the jute rug.

"Did you know God's watching over you when no one's there, just like Grammie," I say.

He scoops up more lemon, his fork awkward and full. "Uh-huh," he nods, slurps chocolate milk.

We nibble down to the plate, wash down the dregs of coffee and milk. "So what makes today good for you?" I say.

He slurps, pauses, "Just goin' on a date with you."


761. More avocados.

762. Black shell peeled back, pit smooth as stone, we eat the green flesh, carve it out with salted tortilla chips and talk on into the afternoon, nourished.

763. Outside recess with the kids and cousins in the whipping wind and mid-day sun.

764. Rosy cheeks, cold fingers, children out of breath on dirt hills and a sideways piece of culvert.

765. Soft cheeks on afternoon pillows -- warmth and sleep encased.

766. Momma's blog.

767. A new friend.

768. New friends for my children.

769. How Janie practices saying sorry to a friend and it's not so hard and I don't supervise or make sure it happens, just ask her later, and we talk.

710. 51 tomato seedlings repotted in paper pots with mother-in-law's careful tutelage.

771. Lunch AND dinner on the farm and her sincere, "What you have to remember Bethany, is that it's not imposing. You're FAMILY."

772. Lulie's earache healed.

773. A date with husband for yogurt and coffee and grocery isle wandering.

774. How he speaks kindly to me.

775. How he never complains -- even when his back hurts a whole week straight.

776. Almond milk homemade in the blender with vanilla and dates for sweetness.

777. Good advice to eat lots of plants and I'll feel better.

holy     experience


  1. Oh, I love your stories. I love the build up before the actual date... so precious.
    That Jack is something else :)
    Have a great day, Bethany!

  2. Ah Monday and a new Bethany list. You make my day sweeter, thank you!

    Your Jack dates are priceless, reminds me to make that a priority with my own boys.

    Did you plant a banana tree? I'm gonna need one of those!

  3. What a gorgeous boy. And beautiful memories for you both!

  4. Hello, Bethany. Visiting from Ann's today. What a bunch of little cuties you have! Love your sweet date story :)

  5. What a beautiful post. Thank you for bringing a little peace into my hectic living room today.

  6. Just the most precious post today. I'd like to go on a date with that little guy -- crumbs and all!!!! When did we ever lose that simple, matter-of-fact trust in God that children have, anyways???? Loved your list of gratitudes! It's always so very good to come by here. I'm guaranteed a blessing every time!

  7. My mother's granchildren call her Grammy. And in these difficult days it is so comforting to know that God is taking care of Grammy when noone is there. Your gratitude post always packs a punch!

  8. what a sweet precious blog you have.

  9. A date with your darling boy! How precious. I am grateful to have found your blog through 1000 Gifts. Blessings!

  10. Thank you God for our little boys. Mine is 21 now and just as sweet. I'm glad to have found your site. Yes, I give thanks. I'll put it on my list.

  11. never stop dating your children bethany. and they'll never stop knowing everything right and good.

  12. oh Bethany, you're raising such a little gentleman! I miss you all so much. :)