"Did you put water in this?" Myra, tea barely swallowed, slurps a drip off her lips. She clanks her mug to the table. I watch the riot-blue of her eyes.
"Yeah," I say.
She nods. "Funny." She swoops the baton of conversation back to me, but I just hold it and watch. We sip another sweet creamy gulp.
It's planning day. We make a big pot of tea, plan our week.
The plan de-rails. The kids fall ill, fevers of 103, coughs and aches and blankets and blankets. We sea-saw in and out of schoolwork and blankets.
We wade through more Greek mythology, read the myth of Narcissus.
Shimmed between stories, Jane sits up, green blankie slung over her knees. "They're judging who they love by how pretty they are," she frowns. We nod, the surface of the story pierced like a balloon.
And the fevers swell. The children wash up on the couch, legos and tinker-toys litter the floor. I fish a sliver out of Jane's hand and she cries and cries, and then wilts to the rug. I brush my fingers through her hair, long dangling curls, and we breathe exactly in time, a metronome measuring out calm. The afternoon swoops in. Rest.
Then she rises, slow and gentle like the moon. "Momma," she says her voice soft and low, "if you see me do something you don't like, just tell me." Her hand a feather-weight on my shoulder, I look up from reading. She captures me, her eyes beacons of blue, "Even if it doesn't seem very polite, just tell me. I want to know."
Just tell me. I want to know, like a coin twirling through the air, a pirouette of faith. Her smile a long ribbon, the word sink in. Something loyal and sinew-y flexes.
4337. Myra smuggles a baby orange from breakfast and tries to make fresh squeezed orange juice in her dolly's tea cup.
4338. "Do you think this is actually made of REAL marble?" Jack assesses his wrestling trophy.
4339. Mom and I lay out her quilt and pin it. We frame the day in chocolate and coffee made with cream and raw sugar. The afternoon opens, still water, peace, refreshing, a perfect circle of rest, joy.
4340. Small group Bible study and prayer, chocolate bread pudding and ice cream.
4341. Bathroom towels and rugs that match.
4342. News from Craig's mom: the tomatoes are up!
4343. "I was so young last year," Lucy remarks as we clear dishes and put away food.
4344. A friend, a coupon queen, stops by with a pack of razors just because.
4345. Our dentist fixes my chipped tooth.
4346. I catch Myra with more oranges gently offering bites of each slice to her baby.
4347. "My blankie-boy is over here," Myra says as I tuck her into bed. She pats a wad of blue knit up by her head. "I lay on it so robbers don't get it," she says.
4348. We find reading glasses for Lucy.
4349. We shop around and find the final pieces for my quilt.
4350. White balsamic vinegar, raw sugar, cream, coconut cream, whole grain mustard. Treats.
4351. I find Myra curled up on the floor by our bed when she has a bad dream. We pray and I tuck her back under her own covers.
4352. Jane goes to a birthday party of a friend she hasn't seen in a long time. They both smile so sweetly all afternoon. The day ends with cupcakes for the whole family.
4353. "Nothing could get in his way. Nothing," Pastor Joe teaches us about the Apostle Paul. "Like Mommy and her coffee," Jack leans over and whispers to Craig.
4354. Joey masters the sippy cup.
4355. With Herculean effort, we bring the glacier of laundry almost up to flush.
4356. A week of being sick together, I take note: a special bond forms as we heal.
4357. All those clean clothes in my drawers, I can hardly wait to get up and get dressed for the new week.
4358. At each turn I marvel: Craig can make me laugh in almost any circumstance.
4359. I feel hungry for God's word. I love my Bible.