"Why do they do that?" Jane gestures to a headless mannequin donned in neon pink sports bra.
I look up from a rack of running clothes, spot the mannequin. "Oh, I know. I don't know why they do that," I say. We stare for a moment. I would never let her run around Old Navy in her unders. I frown. She furrows her brow.
"It's like they're saying, 'Here is someone who will show you their privates,'" she says. I blink. She shakes her head.
"I know," I stammer. "I hate that."
We look away from the plastic woman with no head and shop as if she weren't there. But in the back of my mind I wonder how we haven't seen this before.
3172. I confess to my mom that I stole Lorna Doone Shortbread cookies from the pantry in '87 and feel the freedom.
3173. Lucy watches me clap Joe's hands together. He smiles. "Usually when I make my baby clap," she says, "he makes a snarly face."
3174. Myra tells me her baby's name is Turkey.
3175. Jane makes a blankie for Jack to take to Gramma's house.
3176. Jack has a Gramma date down on the farm.
3177. While he is gone the girls mope around the house. "Momma," Jane says, "Jack makes everything fun. It's like having 10 people gone."
3178. We mourn the death of my mom's doggie, Punkin. "Wouldn't it be awesome if Jesus raised Punkin from the dead?" Jane asks. And the children keep praying that he will.
3179. Jane jumps from stone to stone in the garden. Her hair swings long around her shoulders.
3180. "How is God going to bring good out of this?" Jane asks about Punkin's death.
3181. I feel sad about Punkin and Craig tells me, "It's a good reminder. Every time one of us goes out that door it could be the last time you see them."
3182. Lucy tells me Jane is making swords downstairs. Jack tells me she's making crosses. "'Cause God is our weapon," he says, "In God we trust."
3183. Craig and his dad take Jane, Jack, and Lucy fishing. They come home with ten trout.
3184. Craig's Grammie turns 97.
3185. I get time to visit with my mom. We talk and listen and trace the silhouette of all things important. At the end she hugs me tight. "I've hugged you like that since you were a little girl," she says, and I feel it, all the years bunched up behind us.
3186. Trader Joe's corn salsa -- on practically everything.
3187. Dipping sauce -- plain yogurt, garlic, lime, and salt.
3188. Janie's observation, "One thing Momma -- whatever happens, God will take care of us," after she labors over a decision.
3189. Time playing with cousins -- hours riding bikes, eons of pretend fighting the bad guys, memories laid down in the slow passing of childhood.
3190. Cookie dough dip made with chickpeas and dates and dark chocolate chips.
3191. Hard boiled eggs with rice vinegar and salt and pepper.
3192. Cottage cheese.
3193. Craig lets me sleep in on Saturday and carves a hollow in the afternoon for me to nap. All the while he patiently encourages me, nourishes me with kindness and one late night conversation.
3194. We pack away all the winter clothes and get out the summer clothes. When the mountains of laundry clear away, we rearrange the living room and dining room. The house feels fresh.
3195. I watch Craig discipline the kids. Even when they get in trouble, they know he loves them. It's palpable and thick. Strength under control -- it turns their hearts.
3196. I learn a little more each day how to string the moments together. I do the important things -- pray everyday, meet the eyes of my children when I speak to them, kiss my husband when he gets home -- and let the rest rush by in a deluge around my ankles.