"Seems like Betsy's main objective is to go as slow as possible and look at eEEeverything," Jane says.
"Yup," I say. We tritt-trott past a neighbor's shag green lawn, humidity and the smell of dirt wafting off of it, Betsy lagging behind her hand, the one in Jane's grasp.
"And I pull and pull, but pretty soon, I'm going slow too," Jane says.
"Yep," I say, Jane's arm extended back like a fishing line.
"And then I give a tug and she catches up no problem." Jane shakes her head, affection at the corners of her eyes.
"Hmm," I say. "Yup." Sunday afternoon, a walk. We just walk together. Everything else folds into the steps.
"If I was really scared," Myra says, "know who I would go to?" Her face leaner than even six weeks ago, I look into blue eyes too large for the average face. She blinks at me.
"Who?" I say.
"You," she says, "or Daddy."
"Hmm," I say, her red hair a wild racket around her face.
"Or Jack," she says, "'cause he's really nice and really strong."
"Hmm. He IS really nice," I say.
"Yeah," she says, " SO nice."
"What do you like about him?"
"Well, lots of things," she says. "He's always so excited about his garden. And he shows me stuff." She blinks, pauses. "And he likes to play." A smile ripples over her face. Drawn at the corners of her mouth, it moves upward over her eyebrows. "And when Lucy plays tag," she says, "he's on my team."
"Hmm," I say. "He is really nice."
"I don't know why," she says, "I just really like him."
"Yup," I say.
"Yeah," she says. 'I'm gonna go see what he's doing."
The years tic on, tiny increments of time, pennies of time. The uneventful stroll down the street, the game of tag out back, this is where it happens. Such small installments, and then one day we wake up memorized and loved, the embodiment of those penny deposits.
6287. Craig and I celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary. The children make us breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We talk gardens and plan the bean trellis. We visit a greenhouse, the nine of us. Then then Craig and I take a thrifting date. We talk less than I ever imagined we would, but we understand each other more. Devotion blooms. We settle under its wings.
6288. We tear grass out of a garden bed, weed the 500 square foot vegetable garden, plant miscellaneous annuals, and build the bean trellis. Saturday unfolds in gentle steps, each one time together.
6289. We take a walk Sunday afternoon. I spend the evening playing badminton with Jack, Betsy, and Myra.
6290. End of the year testing finished, we plan a summer liturgy. We weave chores, disciplines, and pleasures into routine.
6291. And life goes on, the clippity-clop of everyday things. Devotion in the small things. We work to live out faithfulness.