Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Sink

"Hey Mom, when can we order those coins?" Jack says -- the coin collector.

Sunday afternoon we each fix our own lunch, linger, relax, tidy up. Navy plaid and sleeves rolled to the elbows, Jack raises his eyebrows.

"I need you to clean the sink first," I say.

"I did clean the sink," he says.

"No, you have to actually CLEAN the sink," I say.

"Like what do you mean?" he says.

"Well, when you leave dishes sitting in there THAT long, since last night, everything gets all slimy so you have to CLEAN the sink."

"Well, I put all the dishes in the dishwasher," he says.

"Yup. Now clean the actual sink," I say.

Tears dribble out his unblinking eyes. "Well, I didn't know," he says.

"I think we might have to wait on ordering those coins for you," I say.


"I'm not sure you have a right relationship with them if you cry when I ask you to do things."

"What do you mean?"

"When you act like I shouldn't have to do THIS, or She's just giving me more and more and MORE stuff -- this is so UN-FAIR. You don't have a right attitude."


"Let's just get this taken care of," I say.

"Ok," he sags his shoulders, grabs the baking soda and sprinkles the sink.

A steady spirit ensues. Bit by intentional bit, he wields his will. Something manlike comes over him.

"Your work looks good. How's your attitude?" I say.

"Good." Cheerful, the genuine article, he scrubs the gritty soda into stains.

"Alright," I say.

"Can you come check if this is good?" he looks up, a pleasant half-smile.

"Sure," we trace the remnants of stains. Revisit the dirty parts. "Looks great," I say.

He nods, almost shrugs. "I just was wanting to order the coins sooner because I thought maybe then they would get here before Tuesday," he says.

"Oh," I say.

"Well, we can talk about it tomorrow," I say.

"Ok," he says.

I note his correctable spirit. Submission to authority is a difficult skill. And yet, it's the opus magnum of the truly great leaders.


5800. A dear friend sends us a package. Blessing unfurls. Smiles encircle the living room. Love from a distance, such a sweet thing.

5801. Turmeric, the golden spice, it makes everything yellow and delicious.

5802. Our super-scraper-pot-cleaner, the kitchen's MVP.

5803. A red basket for yarn. Red. I rearrange the whole yarn stash.

5804. Daily, I till the grounds of responsibility. Grueling toll. Like breadcrumbs on the path, I find small encouragements. Moments open up and I see, there it is, the truth: you reap what you sow.

5805. We work each day to sow habits and small obediences that make a life good in the long run.

5806. And in the process we know each other. Knowing, isn't that the point of everything? Maybe the long run is longer than we thought.

1 comment:

  1. #5804. Seems like family is the perfect setting for this. How much harder it is when one tries to attain it in a less safe environment.

    It's like roads: always needing work. Potholes and washouts. Ruts leading somewhere. I love that despite it all you keep the destination in plain sight. And don't despise the journey.