"Mom," Jack says, "I put some potatoes in the fruit basket for you," his potatoes, his own, fresh dug from his garden. His head poked in my room, bright freckles and a sky-blue shirt, I smile at him.
"Oh, thanks," I say. Perched on the edge of my bed, I've been staring at the open closet trying to extract something that will fit and look appropriate. The children bustle down the hallway behind Jack. Everyone's prepping for a day at work with Daddy.
"You can use them for whatever you want," he says, "like making chips or fried potatoes or WHATEVER you want." I smile, watch his eyebrows curve around those blue eyes. "'Cause, I like to have a little surprise for you any time I'm gonna be gone," he says. That closet full of clothes and nothing to wear and then this.
"Aw, thanks, Jack."
"Yeah!" he says. With that he clicks the door shut, scampers down the hallway, and soon the house is quiet, just Betsy and me.
All day I think about those potatoes. I fry them up for dinner, split them with Craig. We agree, hands down, the best potatoes. Ever. Could have eaten a whole bushel of them. But the nourishment, that was all Jack.
6032. We have a garage sale with Pete and Rosie, a huge success.
6033. The kids help Craig move everything back into place in his classroom after the painting is done.
6034. I finish another sweater for baby boy.
6035. And a blanket.
6036. We finish the first week of school. Memories of the self-discipline required for learning begin to re-emerge. It feels good.
6037. We celebrate my mom's birthday.
6038. We celebrate Craig's dad's birthday.
6039. We land on Sunday tired and grateful for rest. It's the long afternoon nap, laundry forgotten on the couch, and bedtime come early.