"Though I wander, though I wander," Joe hum-sings as he slogs a knife in the peanut butter jar. "Bind my wandering heart to thee. Though I wander, though I wander..." Three-year-old falsetto warps loops in the kitchen.
"Joe, don't use that peanut butter," I bungle. "It's Daddy's mousetrap peanut butter."
"Oh," he holds up the knife. "See?"
"Yeah." A glob blops to the floor. "Clean it up," I say.
"Oh." He clackety-clacks cowboy boots around the drip, nabs a paper towel and circles back.
"Christ the Lord is risen today," the radio blares. The sun lemon-yellow and warm for February, we travel, the all us on errands with Craig. It took half the day to get gone, but here we are hymns blaring, children fresh and joyous.
Heading straight into the sun, we turn, glide to a stop at the frozen yogurt store.
"We just have four more verses," Lucy pants. "Can we just wait?" A-----lle--lu-u-ia flows out of the radio tidal and full.
Craig turns to me. "Just four more," he says. He shrugs, a grin ribboned across his face.
I laugh. His grin breaks into a chuckle.
"Ok," I say.
"Ok," he says.
Music settles like dew in afternoon sun. We leave the car, faces alighted with the unmistakable and invisible: goodwill. We sing together and something happens. Christ is there with us. Small moments of adoration make us who we are.
5769. A neighbor couple invites us to dinner. We spend an evening fellowshipping. Warm bonds form between us. They send us home with two bags of homemade pumpkin cookies. Watermelon, Joe calls them.
5770. The three older kids take turns joining my morning run. Three and a half miles, they keep up just fine.
5771. I injure my hip from turning to jabber with the kids so much during our runs. An easy weekend and I make a full recovery.
5772. The kids make Saturday pancakes.
5773. Cousins and Cerissa come for an afternoon of play. Coffee, tea, and play, I wonder why we don't do this more often.
5774. Joe finds a pencil grippie that works for him.
5775. My new tea pot comes. It works perfectly. Not even a tiny bit of loose tea escapes the mesh barrier.
5776. A warm bathrobe.
5777. I turn around to find Betsy standing in the highchair. Though previously buckled and secure, she has found a way around.
5778. We begin to teach the kids the value of money. We charge $0.05 rent on anything they leave laying out. Craig promises to take me out for dessert with any earnings.
5779. Jack starts planting his spring garden: multitudinous, rows of lettuce.
5780. After tracking mud in the house equally multitudinous times we arrange for all dirt transgressors to clean all floors on the main floor.
5781. We come to land in a new week with hope and goodwill growing up between us. Hard earned in both discipline and constant choice, we gradually reap the benefits. We like each other.