"I'm gonna make oatmeal with plums and sugar," Myra says. Friday and no one made bread, lunch plans collapse and the children have oatmeal.
"Oh," I say from the couch. Betsy nurses. I read. Myra masterminds plum oatmeal.
"I'm not gonna spill ANY sugar," she says, "'cause bugs like stuff that is reaaaaally salty, like sugar." I glance up at her, orange t-shirt and aqua leggings, jean skirt on sideways. She cocks her head. "We don't want ANY bugs in our house," she says.
She shakes her head along the curve of each word. Stork-like limbs and a perfect symmetry of logic, she shrugs. She plunks a white cereal bowl on the table and starts to fill it.
Sunday afternoon, and the children retreat to the garden. They dig and dig. They turn up the soil, open big swaths of earth. Down in the corner, Craig builds a greenhouse. I watch, then head inside to warm up.
"Yeah," Lu says.
I'm about to round the corner, but stop, watch her out of the corner of my eye. She spades the earth with her shovel, fishes a rock out and plunks it a bucket.
"Yeah," she says, "but it's our fun money, so we should use it to do something fun together."
The chop of shovels, the plunk of rocks, Craig had offered them a dollar for every bucket of rocks: fun money.
"Or maybe buy seeds," Jack says. He hacks the dirt as if his hoe were a splitting maul. They listen for the tink of rocks. Someone fishes them out. And they talk: fun money. The business of family strings them together.
5620. Craig splits open his free time and builds me a greenhouse.
5621. Size 4 knitting needles and the perfect pearl buttons for my sweater.
5622. I make sloppy joes. We lack a third of the ingredients so I make up the rest, and it's perfect.
5623. We visit Craig's parents and share a meal together. We linger with Great-Grammie. Three months from now and she'll be 100.
5624. Jack makes peanut butter cookies.
5625. I take my first outing without the baby. Mom drives.
5626. Betsy smiles at me. She smiles and smiles.
5627. I notice the rosemary plant made it through the winter.
5628. We all begin to dream about the garden. Labor and pleasure converge. Shared reverie envelopes us.