"Joe-Joe, can you put your pants away?" Jane cleans up dishes, neatens the living room, folds laundry in origami stacks. Apple-pie order, she straightens, folds, and tucks away.
"YOU take care of it," Joe says, "It's in YOUR area."
"Hey Mom, Joey won't take care of his pants," she heralds.
"Whaaahh," Joe grunts. There peeked around the fridge, he frowns, casts his will across the kitchen. "Uhhhhghhh," he summons.
"Go ahead, " I say. He pauses, stares. I squint. "Go ahead, scream and yell. See if you can change her mind."
He strangles a whine, blinks, eyelids a squeegee over the iris. He pokes bottom lip out as I stare into pool of eyes.
"It's ok," Jane-At-My-Elbow nods, raises her eyebrows. "Don't worry," she says. It's not that easy to change my mind."
"I know," I say. Blue cashmere sweater shrunk and thrifted, just her size, casts a cloak of womanhood, her shoulders almost as tall as mine.
Don't worry. Something of a transfer begins. Strength rises, and I let go, bit by bit. Like flying a kite, I watch the conditions, then I wait to see if she rises.
5728. Betsy starts walking along furniture, tentative, determined.
5729. I find two dolls at a thrift shop. They look exactly like real babies. Next day I find them looking out the window while the kids do chores.
5730. "Jesus conquered the grave. Jesus conquered the grave," Joe sings. He carries a briefcase of color crayon reminiscent of Paddington Bear.
5731. "Myra is never gonna turn into a boy," Joe says.
5732. A friend invites our huge family to dinner. "Have you ever been making soup and had it turn out to be so much more than you thought?" she says. "I should have known when it said 12 cups of corn." We laugh and share a lovely evening. "I just want it to be and easy night for you," she says.
5733. I start reading Pride and Prejudice again and serendipitously find a translation of Aristotle's Poetics and Rhetoric. I'll give it a try.
5734. Lucy asks me to pray for her eye. "It's not that I'm really worried about it," she trails off. "I just sort of always feel like, well, you know." We pray together.
5735. We gather as families with our small group of many years, decades. That same life blood of shared faith pulses. Humility and love encircle us.
5736. Face cream. Simple, sweet, and smooth -- yet so easy to miss.
5737. I continue incremental progress on a special project: a log cabin quilt.
5738. "Dadda, Dadda," Betsy says and tugs the buttons on Craig's shirt.
5739. A rainy week, sun breaks interspersed, we almost think of spring. The moments pass soft underfoot. We slow to notice.