"I went even HIGHER on the swing," Joe says. He pants at the corner of the desk, taps his bare chest. I look up, accounting minutia, daily maintenance slid aside for the moment.
"Wow, good job," I say. I lean on an elbow
"Even HIGHER than last night," he says. Somehow he holds his eyes open impossibly long.
"Wow," I say.
"Yeah," he says.
"You're getting grown up," I say. "How'd it feel?"
"Cold," he says. "It's COLD when you go REALLY fast."
"Oh," I say. He flits off as if springs were in his bare feet.
"Mom," he cycles back, "a YELLOW JACKET landed on me, but it DIDN'T sting me."
"Wow," I say. "You are getting really BRAVE," I stare at his eyes, mimic the round unblinking irises. "Why do you think it didn't sting?"
"Maybe," he says, "'cause it put it's back legs UP." He points up with both hands.
"Oh," I say.
"It was on my BACK," he says.
"Oh," I say. "How do you know it was a yellow jacket?"
"'Cause I do," he says.
"Mom," he's back again, "yellow jacket's don't like AIR on them."
"Oh," I say. "How do you know?"
"'Cause I was running REALLY fast and there weren't ANY around," he says.
"Oh," I say.
I blink into his eyes, soak in the tilt of those wide set eyes and the way his feet never stop moving, perfect unending recording running in the back of his mind. We memorize each other. It's love, two memories, tracing the same moment. Devotion ensues.
5889. "Mom," Joe says. "I put hydrogen peroxide on an ant. I got it CLEAN. It did this." He shakes his shoulders.
5890. I discover that you can make your own footless leggings out of the footed ones.
5891. Jane learns to make cinnamon rolls.
5892. My niece graduates high school. Family and friends come together to celebrate on the hottest afternoon yet. Sweet Ellin is so happy.
5893. I overcome a headache triggered by food allergy.
5894. A friend from afar sends me sourdough recipes and our friendship grows.
5895. We continue to lead the children in intentionally loving each other. We take the time to get this right before we reach out to the world. Joy ensues.
5896. Craig and I spend our nights playing canasta and reading more than before. The garden lulls from needing continual attention. We sigh and try to go to bed early.