A Chair, a Child, and Two Jellybeans

This green-gold chair in all its vintage swivel rocking glory holds memories. It used to belong to my grandparents. My brothers, sisters, and all our cousins were warned not to spin in it when we were little. Because it’s not a toy.

It’s a gift.

Today it holds me and Z.

Z.

My independent-keep-on-moving-do-it-myself-never-stop-trying-until-you-figure-it-out baby girl.

She’s growing up way too fast.

I scooped up her four year old body, setting her lightly on my lap. It’s time to learn her Bible verse for Wed. night church. But she’d much rather snuggle. With her eyes and hands scrunched up, she squeezes me tightly.

“Oh, Zhu-zhu. Mommy Zhee-Zhee Wohm.”

This is her nickname for me because I’m almost always warm, especially when she is in a snuggling mood.

Smiling, I ask her for a “‘mooch.”

She gives me several. I return the favor and we giggle.

I read her lesson and look at the verse.

John 15:12.

“Love each other as I have loved you.”

Do you know what that means, Z?

She shakes her head “no.”

I try to think of a way to explain so she will understand. Sometimes the simple answer is the best.

Does Mommy love you? 

She nods “yes.”

Do you love your sisters?

Yes.

Does Mommy want you to love your sisters as much as I love you?

Yes.

That’s how God wants us to love each other. Just like He loves us.

Her nose wrinkles when she smiles, leaning into me.

As we recite the verse together, we seal each word with a “mooch” on the cheek for good measure. And she giggles some more.

I feel her body relaxing against me.

She sighs. “I’m tired.”

I am surprised to hear her say it because she’s usually the last to admit it. I think about taking her to her bed.

When was the last time she fell asleep while I held her? Was she two?

I hum her favorite songs then sing words quietly, moving  the chair back & forth in time to the music. She doesn’t squirm. A squeaky old swiveling chair that rocks can be a pretty awesome thing sometimes.

Her eyelids droop.

I pray her big sisters don’t make any sudden noises.

Her breathing deepens and I feel her weight heavy against me.

As she relaxes, her legs and arms twitch as if to say they aren’t ready for sleeping yet. Her left hand opens slightly and I feel a small something fall onto my leg beneath. Make that two small somethings. Shifting her gently, I feel with my hand between my legs. I hadn’t known she was holding anything. My fingers close on something sticky. I lift my hand to see two jelly beans streaking orange and red across my fingers.  They are covered in sugary wrinkles from being held for a long time in warm, moist little hands.

She sighs in her sleep. A  happy contented sigh that comes from deep inside as I brush the hair away from her forehead with my free hand. I close my eyes and hold these gifts tightly. In one hand, my youngest daughter in all her sleeping beauty. In the other, two sticky jelly beans.

These childhood days will soon be gone.

Will she ever sleep on my lap like this again?

I think about that bedtime a few weeks ago. Her thin cool arms reached for me from the darkness. Slight hands clasped like a delicate necklace in a circle around my neck, pulling my head gently onto her pillow.

“Oh Mommy Zhu-zhu! I want you to stay hee fowevoh!”

As I sit now with my cheek resting on her tousled hair and her warm body against mine in this chair of memories, I feel my answer.

Me too.

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Of Life & Ligaments

So…what’ve you been up to for the past couple of months?

Me?

Well, let’s just say this blog has been silent for a couple of months for a variety of reasons.

Because life happens.

Because four out of five family members in our house celebrate their birthdays between the end of January and the end of March. And that’s a lot of birthday treats & party planning.

Thank you Pinterest!

Candles from "somebody's" cake. Don't count them.

What happens when a bunny birthday becomes a Bunny Star Wars birthday.

My sorry attempt at a Tardis cake for the Dr. Who birthday.

Because Daddy worked for 30 hours straight one week and 3 little girls didn’t understand why they didn’t see him for two days. Well, maybe at least one of them isn’t so little anymore as she daily reminds me.

Because “springing ahead” isn’t fun.

Because one of our daughters decided she was ready to be baptized.

Daddy getting ready to baptize "B."

Because all that birthday planning, shopping, baking, homeschooling, enjoying a visit from Grandma who flew 2,000 miles to see us, and a few seasonal colds shared generously left little time for writing. And anyway, who would want to read about all that…ordinary life-stuff?

Or maybe it’s because I have the strange ability to injure the ligaments in two of the fingers on my left hand while trying to get ready for bed quietly so I won’t wake anyone up, but instead whack my hand on the doorknob while changing my shirt and wake up the neighborhood with my howl of pain.

Ligaments. take. forever. to. heal.

At least they do if you’re a dumbo like me & don’t stop using them like you’re supposed to so you end up re-injuring them. Twice. Or was it three times?

Either way. Ouch. But I’ve finally learned my lesson. I think.

Well, at least until the next time I need to lift a bag of groceries or a pot of water & there’s nobody around to help.

Somebody stop me!

On the bright side, the girls are learning to help out more since Mommy can’t do the “heavy lifting.”

But I wouldn’t take advantage of that or anything. Much.

So here I am today, hen-pecking away at the keyboard to let you know that I am alive and mostly well. But I may not post for a few more weeks while I try to let things heal up the way they should.

So, until next time, carry on!

Unless you’re me.

In that case, you shouldn’t be carrying much of anything. 🙂

Good thing I’m not left-handed, eh?

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