"I hope I frow up tomorrow," Myra says. Lounged on the bottom bunk, blue-blankie draped across her middle, she puffs warm three-year breath against my cheek.
"Why?" I say. I make out her red curls on the slumpy pillow, my elbow leaned over her middle to tuck her in.
"If I do I know what you are gonna give me," she says and scrunches her shoulders to her ears. Even in the semi-darkness, I can see her nose wrinkled up, smile dangling.
"What?" I say, the urge to mimic her grin almost irresistible.
"Tea," she squeaks between fingers.
"Ooooh." I recall a certain yummy placebo. "Maybe we can just have tea anyway."
"Like if I don't frow up?" she chirrups.
"Yeah." I nuzzle her cheek. She willows her arms around my neck.
Then it's two nights later.
"And thank-you that we got to pick up poop today," she prays as she starts our prayer time.
"Poop?" I interrupt.
"We put it in a bucket and stirred it up to throw on the bad guys," Jane explains.
"Oooooh," I nod. Poop-scooping, the gang of cousins, the whole troupe of them whirling through the kitchen and out back suddenly converges. Lucy's long Viking princess hair streaming behind, all the boys in full armor, Myra some where in the peripheral, Jude offering to make sure the dog doesn't kill her, the narrative suddenly emerges. Lovely. It must have been thrilling.
I have a feeling they won the battle.
4776. Craig's boss has us over for an end of summer pool party. We linger on the porch swing. Myra asks for an under-dog. I say no, and we just visit and enjoy the company.
4777. Reefs. Lavender hand-me-down Reefs for Jane.
4778. We listen to the book of Jonah. Jonah grumbles that the Lord was gracious and abounding in compassion to the people of Nineveh. "I think I would have learned my lesson," Jane says. "God means what He says and says what He means. And if I try to get around that it's not gonna work."
4779. Bliss, we have lunch and unravel a whole afternoon with cousins.
4780. My parents celebrate their 37th wedding anniversary. Riches, true riches. In my momma's words: Marriage is indeed a jumping off a cliff together. Heart stopping thrills. Wind sheer. Updrafts. Falling. Floating on the wind. And the glorious realization that flying takes two wings. One from each of us. Committed to commitment. What a gift their marriage is to me.
4781. "Did you know that sheep often give birth to twins like women give birth to singles?" Jack says as I gather spindrift of leggos and puzzle pieces under the old drafting table.
4782. I check on the kids' school work. "Jack said I was going slow," Jane says, "and I said, Jack I'm doing a good job because if I don't I get chastised by Momma's words."
4783. "Why do you think when I get angry it's like a pile of dry grass and a match?" Jane asks over salad and peach pie.
4784. "All people like getting tickles in their neck," Lucy teases and locks Myra in a tickle-sniggle.
4785. Craig's dad lets us take a spin in his new Gator.
4786. Fresh watermelon right out of the farm garden.
4787. I drive the kids to do their best. We all swell with dignity at our success.
4788. I read the latest Imprimis and come across this note on what Roger Scruton calls our culture's flight from beauty: It is not merely that artists, directors, musicians, and others connected with the arts are in a flight from beauty....There is a desire to spoil beauty....For beauty makes a claim on us; it is a call to renounce our narcissism and look with reverence on the world. ~Roger Scruton
4789. I find myself billowing with reverence and humility before my creator.