Sunday, March 30, 2014

L'entretien

My kids were outside riding scooters and bikes. I could hear the wheels grind against the pavement. I could hear their shouts out to each other. It feels like spring is just around the corner, even though it is spring. We still have snow in the yard. Erin's snow tower is a shrinking mound along the driveway. The winds blew the cover off our very little wood stack. I grabbed a few pieces of wood and put the cover back on. I made a fire in the fireplace for morning school work.

***

A friend's father died the other week and I met with her while she's in from out of town. She sat with me in Panera and told me how his last day was. She was with him. I'm thankful for many things--for a summer she survived; for a father and a daddy's girl; for her parents, divorced and never remarried, but sharing a last kiss and a moment's last breath. I had prayed that God would show himself--and I see him in that room. God of reconciliation and forgiveness.

***
 
She rests against me on the rug by the fire and I read from a book. I act out the characters and dramatize the scenes, and she's caught in it with me. I feel like these are the moments that I want to pause--these moments of homeschooling that are everything I love about it ... peaceful and enjoyable ... today, no rush of agenda, but a leisurely read. I wonder why we choose to rush. Slow is better. I fold the corners of the pages.

"Why do you do that, Mom?" she asks.

I always turn down a corner in the books I read, and I go back and visit the words again later. (Very much like the after-hours sneaks of chocolate from the freezer when the kids are in bed.)

In the dungeon, there were rats. Large rats. Mean rats. Despereaux was destined to meet those rats. Reader, you must know that an interesting fate (sometimes involving rats, sometimes not) awaits almost everyone, mouse or man, who does not conform.

And

Wasn't it a good thing to love? In the story in the book, love was a very good thing. Because the knight loved the fair maiden, he was able to rescue her. They lived happily ever after. It said so. In the book. They were the last words on the page. Happily ever after. 

(Both from The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo. A first grader's literature reading, and a mama's delight as well.)

***

Friday night around the table, food and drink. She and I, we talked and laughed and talk got real and honest. So glad we could share rich moments like that. Hugs goodbye and love expressed.

***

Joel outside in the rain with his hat on. I called to him to stop in before he left. He joined us at the kitchen table--his former table, his former house. We talked a bit about plans and future and snakes. He shook Shane's hand goodbye. I reached mine out too. He took it, and we ended in hugs because it didn't seem right not to. I love that man.

***

An afternoon at David and Anita's. His hair is longer and his face is bearded gray. Erin spent a quiet portion eating cookie after cookie after cookie after cookie. She played with their dogs. I sat by David and held his hand the whole two hours.

"I have a new daughter," he said to me.

"Who is that?" I asked him.

"You," he said. "And it's absolutely wonderful."

"I'm your old daughter!" I laughed.

At church later, listening to talks about God and his love for us. How God delights in us as his children. And I felt grateful to have an example here of being loved and delighted in. A real-time glimpse of a fraction of my Father's love--and it moves me to tears.

For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. Zephaniah 3:17 NLT.

***

It was Saturday night and I heard the gentle fall of rain. And then this sound: the spring peepers singing their night chorus to the woods. Another season here--this wonderland.

***

A sticky post on the counter, used as a bookmark. Written on it: I love books! (accompanied by many hearts). Erin now stays up late at night reading books.

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