"Hey, why are you being so grumpy?" brow furrowed I raise an eyebrow at Lucy. Slouched at the end of the couch, she huffs and sighs, knees gathered up at her chin.
"I'm not," she says.
"Yeah, you are," I say.
"I don't know," she says.
The other kids milling into the sunroom, they find seats while Lucy stews.
"Well, think about it," I say.
"It just seems like the other kids are telling me what to do and bossing me around," she says. She makes her face placid but narrows her eyes and enfolds irritation at the edges of her mouth.
"No," I say. "That's not it. You've been grumpy about too many different things lately. It's something else. What is it?
"I don't know," she says casting proof across the couch at me.
"Well, think about it. Usually when someone is bothered by a whole bunch of different things, it's actually something else that's causing it all. I'm going to ask you again in a little bit so I want you to be thinking about it, okay?"
"Okay," she shrugs.
We circle in prayer, the usual landing of the day. Kids gather to hug me. They drape and snuggle and wrap their arms around me in an applause of affections.
"Can you wait for just a minute?" I whisper to Lu.
"Okay," she nods.
The children mill out as they came in more like the wind whisping across the yard than a troop of boots.
"Sooo," I say to Lu. "Did you think about it?"
"There's nothing, Mom." she says.
"I know we love each other ALL the time," I say, she looking at me out the the tops of her eyes, "but I was wondering if maybe you haven't been FEELING how much I love you lately." She stares. Blinks. "I was wondering if you just want to sit and snuggle for a while."
In answer she sits next to me, next-next to me, as close and she can sit. My arm slung around her shoulder I pat her knee. The cuddly child, I haven't snuggled her in a very long time. Before long, chatter is running like a drippy faucet.
Though I'm never one to go easy when discipline calls, tonight the answer was this.
5865. My cousin and her five kids come to visit. Pizza and a break from school, it's a party. They can't stay long, and I feel like we could talk forever. Such a treat.
5866. A grain mill! Lori passes an flour mill onto us.
5867. We buy a few buckets of wheat berries from a friend and start a bread making adventure.
5868. I begin brewing sourdough starter on our countertop.
5869. Cerissa and I compare food prep notes.
5870. We almost finish planting the garden. I notice the kids out planning and cultivating their plots with more dedication than I can show my own.
5871. I finally get everything planted in the main garden except a few rows of herbs left for tomorrow.
5872. I finally settle on which independent evaluation to use to close out our school year. We re-assign chores and begin planning for summer.
5873. The next season gradually moves closer. A sense of peace gathers and settles around us.