It was a perfect, beautiful morning.
We ate cereal together in the sunshine streaming through the windows.
I was feeling quiet inside.
I asked them if they wanted to read after breakfast.
It just felt right.
We forgot about writing and reading and other stuff I thought we were going to do for sure today.
I sat down, bathrobed with stockings on, wrapping the warm throw on the couch around me. Isaiah snuggled in next, pushing his feet under the blanket, burrowing in beneath my legs. Mia wanted my lap but she's getting a bit big for that sometimes now and it makes me sad. (I have to kind of move my head at an awkward angle when she sits on my lap these days so I can see the book.)
[Interjection: In church on Sunday I said something to Scott about how I swear my neck or spine is out of whack just because of how often I'm not sitting straight to accommodate this little body. And he whispered back something with beautiful perspective, conveying what a lovely thing that was, about what a lovely person was making that happen, about the wonderful blessing she is -- and he's right.]
I put her next to me on the couch, in a small niche perfect for her little bum.
Benji sat down next to Isaiah, Mr. Bear in hand.
We read the end of Where the Red Fern Grows.
I've never read it before until now.
I knew it was going to be sad, and I was a little anxious about how sad I knew the boys would be. The house was still, morning sunlight felt warm and beautiful and light and welcoming. It felt so peaceful -- there was nothing but us snuggling, the story and the words. Reflecting, for me, on the beauty of life and relationships, childhood and parenthood and family and what it means to be -- or have -- a little boy.
The boys and I cried. They had big tears streaming down their cheeks throughout the last several pages. Isaiah kept saying to me that he hoped they were going to come back to life. He kept telling me that Billy should say a prayer. I think he said that was the only thing that could make a difference. I don't think Mia got what was happening, but she would look up at me as I was trying to read through my tears.
Afterward I held both of them while they were crying.
We talked about how before we came to earth we knew there would be great joy and great sorrow, and about how death is a part of life. We didn't quite get to this part, but I wanted to talk to them about how sometimes God lets really sad or hard or unjust things happen. Sometimes saying a prayer isn't going to change what actually will BE. I think we barely skimmed this, but I didn't really get to thresh it out and talk with them about it. I want to come back to it, tho, because it's such a powerful and difficult concept. It then requires us to join in, to offer our faith, to ask questions, to brave hard roads and climb the boulders in each of our paths.
But we did talk about the beautiful part of the end of God's plan. That everything will be made right. That all the unfairness of life and difficulty and struggle and sorrow will be recompensed. It will be okay in the end. I so believe this.
Bonds don't end at death. There is great beauty and warmth and joy beyond.
I snuggled them and thought about their tenderness, those big huge eyes brimming with tears.
It melted me inside.
And my recommendation for the day?
I just read this article written by a woman I want to call friend but have, as yet, not met in real life. I LOVE what she shared and has to say and feel inspired to make some changes.