This is the scene I was trying to describe on the phone last night. Stepping into the kitchen, I nearly lost my toes as Gabe careened around the counter with Mary in the baby wagon. They were screaming and giggling as those two always do; crashing into corners and barstools until Dad issued them a traffic ticket and sent them to unload the dishwasher.
At the sink, stood Hans scrubbing chili-spattered plates and creating a pool of water at his feet. He wasn’t thrilled to be back on dishes so soon, but we’ve created a new chore chart and guess what? You’re not on it. Can you believe that? No more: “Ben you’re on table setting.” “Clean the big boys bathroom.” “Mow the lawn.”
Across the counter Stefan and Xander are creating a poster to ask a cute girl to homecoming. Stefan begged me to add a flower to the border but soon abandoned me for Xander’s superior art skills. Perched in a barstool, reading Harry Potter, Dad offers occasional artistic suggestions and laughingly scolds Gabe and Mary who are once again racing between our feet. They’ve scared the cat and she hisses at Mary as she extends her claws.
Now, the poster is done and everyone, everyone, traipses out the door to deliver it just a few houses up. The sky is heavy with rainclouds and a reluctant moon but the little ones run barefoot in shortsleeves. Carefully arranging his offering on the front porch, Stefan is startled by a flash of light and we scramble for the bushes. Xander crouches behind a garbage can and Gabe is spread-eagled on the lawn laughing with full abandon.
Sneaking home, Stefan confessed that he’d forgotten to leave his name with the poster. No worry, I scarcely believe we could be confused with anyone else.
Don’t be fooled by the spotless floor; it’s a trick of the camera. I’m certainly not on top of the housecleaning or the many undone projects strewn throughout the house– let’s not even talk about the pantry. But I’ll follow your admonition and write here a bit more.
My back is tweaked and sore, so instead of running I’ve been walking and reading The Ladies Auxiliary. It sounds silly doesn’t it? But it’s not. It tells of a congregation of Orthodox Jews in Memphis, TN. You know how I love Jews– their observances make us look like religious pansies. I love their rhythm of life: Kosher diet, Shabbos, mikvah, holidays, sitting shiva. Every part of life has a reason and a purpose. I love viewing God through their eyes and hoping to find my trust in Him.
We miss you. The intelligence level of our dinner conversations has plummeted.
Much love, Mom
p.s. don’t be worried that Mary is flashing her underwear in the last photo. Those are her little white shorts that she wears under every skirt to school– she’ll be happy to show them to you. And c’mon, you didn’t think she was boring enough to wear white underwear? I bought them just in time since little broken arm girl got her groove back and is cartwheeling down the halls.