"That's for you," Joe says. Barefooted, he thunks across the kitchen, palms a green cherry tomato out of his mouth, lifts it up to me, hands shiny with spit.
"That's ok. You go ahead," I say.
"I washed it," he says.
"Oh," I say.
"Can I eat it?"
"Yeah. You better."
He pops it back in his cheek, purses his lips to contain the overspill.
"Should I open these?" Myra crinkles a fun sized pack of M&M's between her fingers. The two of us on a date, the budget down to the end of the month, I'd grabbed them on our way out the door. M&M's: a date.
"It's up to you," I say. "They're yours."
"Hm." She pets them with her hand. "I might wait 'til we get home 'cause the kids might want some," she says.
She nestles them next to the booster, a sliver of shade. We run errands, take a walk, circle back home. And she splits the little back open for everyone.
"Now that I'm going fast, this is actually fun," Jane says.
I glance up, iron paused and puffing over my quilt. Anchored to the school table like ball and chain, she grins. I laugh. "Yup," I say.
Her math book sprawled open to lesson 52, she leans an elbow across its face. "Careful when you pick my discipline," she chirps, a squirreling smile ribboned across her face.
"Better keep going," I say.
"I know," she says and scrawls repentance across the face of the next hour.
Practice. Practice makes easy. And like water turned to wine, discipline becomes play.
5494. Jack and Lucy take up Canasta. Myra watches. "I like Canasta," she concludes. "There's nothing bad for me in Canasta."
5495. Craig and I take up Canasta again. I only have to apologize once for being a bad sport.
5496. German potato soup. Mom makes the best potato soup.
5497. Fleece lined leggings. Fall finally hits and the girls winter up with fleece lined leggings.
5498. Good food and family. We end on blondies and transparency, a la mode.
5499. Joe tries his hand at dumping nail polish (again) down the bathroom sink. Brilliant red. Craig polishes it clean with straight acetone. Joe PROMISES never to do it again.
5500. We celebrate a birthday party with friends that feel like family.
5501. Craig helps me distill down more strategies on how to instill good work habits in the kids.
5502. Mom and I trade quilting chores. We mastermind more quilts.
5503. Friends give us hand-me-downs.
5504. The girls get headbands.
5505. We begin plans for Thanksgiving.
5506. Waist high in a discouraging week, deep waters of encouragement spring forth. Each on cue, women I love speak truth into my life.
5507. I feel well for four days in a row. I pray the next week brings wellness untold.