"There is NO way Dad could build that greenhouse without me," Joe says. I heft armfuls of laundry from washer to dryer. He hops one foot to the other in brown cowboy boots.
"Yeah?" I say.
"Yeah, 'cause I HAD to help him vacuum the cord. He COULDN'T reach it," he says.
"What?" I say.
"Yeah, he had to use the vacuum to suck the cord up," Joe says.
"I had to pull wire down a conduit," Craig says, "so I used the vacuum to suck the cord down the conduit." He tips is head to Joe.
"Oooohhhh," I say.
Laundry transferred I snap the door closed and press start. Joe nods, satisfaction laced between his crossed arms.
Later, dinner come and gone, Dutch blitz cards scattered across the table, Craig, Jack, Lucy, and I snap down cards in bluster and flurry. Joe, slung around Craig's shoulders, watches, his gaze strung down the end of his nose, studious and precise.
"Whelp," he says, "I promise you Dad is gonna WIN." A hiccup from the four competitors, giggles spilt between cards.
"Yup," I say. And what do you know, he does. And there is Joe nodding again in the background.
Finally, the night almost drawn closed, Jane and I transfer more laundry, always more laundry.
"Wait," I say. I pluck a roll-neck brown sweater from the laundry, shake the sleeves free from balled up. "I don't think Joe EVEN wore this," I say.
"He didn't," she says.
"Didn't feel like hanging it up, I guess," I shake my head.
"I'm not saying I'm not guilty of the same sin, but I've SEEN him do this MANY times," she says.
"Hmmm," I say.
Then there's Sunday morning, Joe peeks into my room, me in the middle of a made bed, knees drawn up, Bible open.
"Betsy's breaking a lot of eggs out there," he says.
"What?" I say.
"Yeah," he says.
"What do you mean?" I say.
"She cracked two and then I took them away," he climbs up on the bed as if saddling a horse.
"Is she breaking MORE right now?" I say, my eyebrows raised equal and opposite to his calm.
"No," he says.
"Are you SURE?"
"Yeah. I was cleaning one up and she broke another one so I took-took them away," he says, all the authority of a boardroom there in the tilt of his head.
"GOOD. Can you clean up the rest?"
"I was," he says. "I just get a big-big stack of paper towels and put," he demonstrates on the bed, "put it on it." He presses his hand into the mattress.
"Ooooooh," I say.
"To SOAK it up."
"Yeah," he continues, "She was splattering them everywhere. There were four and she broke two." All drawn up in his nonchalance my words evaporate, and I just watch him retell it again and again. The man that is Joe begins to unfold -- caricatures of wisdom and cartoons of authority.
6304. I get a bonafide silicone toothpaste tube for DIY toothpaste. Yay, ease dispension!
6305. The Illustrated Life Of Jesus Of Nazareth, scripture and classical art, the juxtaposition leaves me thinking about it for hours.
6306. I continue daily to pluck gems out of J. Newton's and O. Chambers' works -- more scripture, principles, and worldview to roll around in my head.
6307. I make a pot of butternut stew. The children love it, say it may be the best stew yet.
6308. I practice wrapping Joe on my back every single day this week. Suddenly desirous to take on a new skill, I find it easier each time, and fun.
6309. A dear friend blesses me with a buttery soft woven wrap.
6310. Dutch Blits. We start the kids on one of my all time favorite card games. Frivolous, fast-paced, and fun, we eat it up.
6311. Unexpected cheddar, tortilla chips, coconut milk, Trader Joe's groceries fill our kitchen.
6312. I disciplined myself to get more sleep this past week and feel the difference.
6313. I play thrifted piano music, and George lulls to sleep.
6314. We had bouts of sun this past week. Simple goodness poured over our skin, we consumed the nourishment.
6315. I ordered seeds for the garden. The children continue to dream, plan, and lay out the garden.
6316. I let myself rest in the knowledge of God's power, perfection, and love.