Sunday, January 17, 2016


"Joey, it's pretty clear you peed your pants," I say.

Just in from sledding, snow pants and boots a pile at the door, Joe blinks. "I didn't mean to," he says.

"What happened?," I say. He stops and looks down, pulls a damp circle away from his skin, looks at me, looks back at the wet mark.

"Oh," he says.

"Oh," I say.

"I was outside," he grimaces, "and I said, Myra let's go inside. And she said, Let's make a snowball first. And so we did, and then I peed."

"Oh," I say.

"I maybe better take a shower," he says.


"Ok." He trots off all forty pounds of his unflappable self.

"Walk, Betsy, walk," he says later. Slung in his arms, he holds her around the waist and tries to work each foot with the other hand. "Walk, Betsy," says.

She tumbles. He grabs her blankie, covers his face. "Betsy, where is I?" he says. She coos, paws the blanket and his face. "Mom, Betsy laughs at me, 'cause I hide from her," he says. "Betsy, where is I? BETSY, where is I? ROAR!"

They laugh, good-natured and fully there. Self-possessed, they laugh, engage each other. No other without barriers, they laugh. No screens, no texts, e-mails, or twinkling tone alerts, just them, they laugh.

Face to face, it moves the soul in a way no screen ever can.


5723. The children begin knitting and selling dishcloths.

5724. New yarn for the new projects. I get a new skein too.

5723. Family dinner, this one ends with homemade peppermint patties and laughter.

5724. We contine to make progress teaching the kids to clean up after themselves and be prompt. We watch them discover extra time and energy under this cloak.

5724. Friends join us for dinner. We feast over creamy tomato basil soup and handmade cupcakes.

5725. The kids forfeit game night dawdling over dinner dishes. Weeping and gnashing of teeth, then then they create another game night by careful planning on Saturday.

5726. Craig and I work on organizing the main accounting/everything desk at our house. Progress by increments, but it's stunning.

5727. We plan another week of hard work and satisfying results. Diligence in the ordinary -- we train our minds to measure our character and treasure by this.

1 comment:

  1. Yes yes for face to face: a smile speaking a thousand words, a look holding you through the hardest times.