"Now can I try to make eggs with you?" fleece top and watermelon jammies, Myra sidles up around my waist.
"Yeah." I swirl water through the espresso basket and shake it clean. I clatter a 6 ½ inch iron skillet on to the stove, turn the small burner to medium.
"I'm gonna need a stool," Myra says. "I'm gonna make eggs for Joe-Joe, and Myra, and Momma." She claps, marches her feet, grabs Joey's hands. "Say: I LIKE EGGS," she says and claps his hands together.
"Hrumph," he grunts.
"Momma's gonna teach me to make," she leans to his ear, whispers, "eggs."
"Hot-hot," Joey points to the stove, the iron skillet. "Owwww," he says palm prone, eyebrows arched.
"The burner's not hot yet," Myra capers on tiptoe, clatters a black spool stool and a white two-step next to the stove. They escalade into place. "Mom, is this little shovel for the pan?" She strokes the spatula through the air. I purl a pad of butter around the skillet.
"Here, do you want to do it?" I say. She chirrups the butter knife with grating skill.
"There," she clangors the knife back into the new butter dish. "That's for YOU, Joe-Joe," she points to the rapidly browning and now fragrant butter. "Does that look yummy? Say: YEAH."
"YUM," he says.
I crack the eggs. She pops the yolks. I flip them. She scoops them out of the pan and caprioles from the stool.
"I made your eggs, Joe-Joe." She saltates to the table. She slides a small red stool next to Joey's spot so he can climb up, then nudges a white Correlle plate to him. He reaches for the fork, a bite already harpooned.
"Wait. Say: JEEE-SUS," she says.
"Jees," he says.
"Say: I LOVE YOU."
"AMEN," he says.
"I'll feed you," she wields the fork. He complies, mouth waiting like a baby bird. He gobbles the egg in a dozen small bites. "Yay, now you can get down to play. Mom," she shouts to the kitchen, "Joe-Joe can get down. I FEEDED him."
They bluster down. Myra rattles plates and forks into the sink, then patters away as if walking on air. A simple date, the passing on of useful skills, she wears it like a sash.
Then it's Saturday night, the children snugged and pleated into bed.
"Momma, I want to go on a date sometime," Jack says, me leaned over the edge of his top bunk.
"Yeah." I nod, his blue eyes clear, guileless.
"I would even like it," he says, "if there were some sort of bay where we could go and find frogs and striped rocks."
Frogs. Striped rocks. We stare at each other. "Yeah," I say and a long moment the shape of an enormous lake ripples between us, smooth, glasslike, unexpectedly delicate. A date. A boyish date. Indeed.
5129. "Mom, I'm dezausted," Myra says. "It means I'm hungry."
5130. Craig services his rifle. Myra watches him get it out. "Oh, she says, "are you going fishing today?"
5131. "That poor plant," she reflects on my houseplant. "It's almost to die. Yeah, it's almost to be dead."
5132. Joe figures out how to peel a baby orange, his hands shaking with anticipation as he yanks slices from the half peeled shell.
5133."You probably need elbow room," Myra tells me, "'cause I see your elbows sticking out."
5134. My mom brings us a new butter dish when Jack shatters the original while trying to carry it with potholders, just to see if he can.
5135. It's even better than the last, the perfect size for a butter loving family of seven.
5136. Craig takes Jane, Jack, and Lu fishing. They return with four rainbow trout and a lead weight of joy.
5137. Jane goes on a date with Grammie to pick out the boarder of her quilt. She glows with satisfaction and immediately sews the boarder in place.
5138. Craig's Mom stops by with treat popcorn and we pause to chat.
5139. "I love you," Craig whispers in my ear as I head out for a run. It's a smooth marble in my palm for the rest of the week.
5140. "Mom, can you put on holy music?" Myra asks.
5141. "Please pass the chicken," she says as we sit down to eat the fish. "I love that you call that chicken," Jane smiles at her.
5142. "Myra, could you get me a white rubber scraper?" Lucy asks, elbow deep in bread dough. "I'm a doggie, so I can't," she says, "Ruff, ruff."
5143. We finally resume ASL with our beloved teacher and an exchange of gifts. Everyone smiles.
5144. We add a few more quilting tools to our collection: a triangle template, a fabric marker, a fabric pencil.
5145. Craig and his brother take a morning fishing with the sons.
5146. "I really like those clothes you got me," Jack says. "They seem like the kind of thing a farmer would wear."
5147. "And, I pray that Joey will have potty trains soon," Myra prays, "Amen."
5148. I finally order the books for next semester, and we all settle in for the next round of study.
5149. We roll into Sunday tired but clean, peaceful, and content.