"Unlock that," I say.
Craig just into the garage, Joe snapped the deadbolt. There, at the garage door, he hangs on the crook of the door handle. He swings his head back far enough to see me.
"He is like part animal," Jane says. There across the table from me, we watch Joe. He's just beyond a scatter of soup bowls and miscellaneous grated cheese, dinner clean-up.
"Unlock," I call again, through the cacophony of dishes.
Joe holds me in peripheral vision then reaches up, snaps the deadbolt back.
"It's like when he's eating oatmeal," Jane says, "and I predict he's gonna grunt, and then he does."
"Uh-huh," I laugh. I grin at Jane, then turn just in time to see Craig in from the garage and catch Joe's smile.
"He's always grunting and growling," Jane says.
Then it's Sunday morning there at the table. I gobble up honey toast. Myra wipes down breakfast crumbs and oatmeal smears.
"You're getting good at that," I say. She holds the cloth just perfect guiding it over every inch in systematic fashion, doubling up on messy parts.
"Reeeealy?" she says.
"Yeah," I say.
"Thanks, I've been watching Jane," she says. "Ew, that part's still dirty." Head tilted, she checks the table reflection, then polishes it clean.
I lick a honey drip off my thumb and pop the last corner of toast into my mouth. I note again that when you lead one, you lead all. Ripples of influence surround us all.
5684. We begin planning summer art lessons.
5685. We spend time with Craig's parents while he installs a kitchen faucet for them.
5686. I find a pair of flip flops for summer.
5687. Pizza and salad night, chocolate chip cookies for dessert.
5688. I transplant 70 tomato plants and a handful of marigolds. I soak in the sun with the baby plants.
5689. We eat a late lunch, multiple children in trouble, straining to be sweet. "When the manger's empty, the horses bite each other," Jane comments. Full bellies feel so good.
5690. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. We listen to Andy Stanley teach on this. The children begin to grab on and understand.
5691. "You've seen me struggle," I say. "I'm not perfect. You don't love me less, do you?" Jane shakes her head. "I don't love you less either. I just love you," I say, "even when you struggle." We hold each other in a long hug, love, a pulse between us.
5692. Joe drapes himself over my shoulders, presses his cheek to mine.
5693. Craig builds me a bedside table out of an old dresser and barbecues gourmet burgers in his free time.
5694. I embrace again reading for pleasure and knowledge.
5695. The week closes with a sense of purpose as if every footstep mattered. Indeed. Influence encircles us.