Last week the missionaries came for dinner. Newel was traveling and Christian and a friend hosted our elders at my kitchen table. I might as well have been invisible as I served dinner and those four young men chatted up a storm about everything under the sun mission related. My heart burst into a thousand tingly pieces as I saw Christian and his friend soak it all in. Their bodies were here but their hearts and minds were longing to run forward.
Christian completed the crash avoidance class imposed by the court for his speeding ticket. True to teenage style, he waited until the very last day to turn in the receipt to the court recorder. Following school that day, he swooped in to grab his paperwork and gathered up Grant who had spent a long day at the books with me. Happily together with skateboards in hand, they blitzed out to make the paperwork drop at the courthouse and then hit the park before dark. It's hard to get mad around here sometimes.
One night I decided to tell a story rather than read one to Eliza and Charlotte at bedtime. I wish I could hold forever those little upturned faces and wide eyes. I'm not sure if I'm delighted or disturbed that they are so enthralled with witches but making them jump in gleeful fear as the witch tries to eat the hero, is always the best.
I hope I never forget how Eliza lets Charlotte place her head in her lap and strokes her hair when she is sad.
Those two stood on the fireplace hearth last night, directing our music for family home evening as if we were the tabernacle choir. They were filled with so much animation. Every once in awhile I catch a glimpse of Eliza with her glasses on the tip of her nose and I see Celia at that same age. It's getting harder to see and that frustrates me sometimes.
I miss Celia. Every time I talk to her on the phone, I miss her again.
I do not like shopping. But shopping with Annie is the best. Janie, Annie and I had a shopping day for a few new things. I loved watching Annie take Janie in hand to assist her in purchasing personal items. They were so cute together. Annie makes us all feel like a million bucks when we try on something new. She takes an experience I dread and turns it into an event to be remembered.
Grant and I are reading Where the Red Fern Grows together. He hangs on every word. Then asks for a dog at the end of each chapter. I hope I never forget long winter evenings curled up reading novels that make our imaginations fly.
I've been worrying my heart out for Janie over some things. But last night, she came in for a hug that clung long and hard. I don't ever want to forget that hug. Some hugs just say everything will be okay. That girl has the strength of a hundred.
Thank heavens for an unseasonably warm February moving into March. Newel has been traveling most of the time since the new year began and without him, life is a little quieter. I've appreciated his calls, morning and night, to check in and chat. Some nights after the kids are in bed, we just hang on the phone until one of us starts to fall asleep.
Of little hands that write so carefully, boys who just keep growing, daddy-daughter dance date smiles, and lots of love sent to one far away ... I'm holding close a picture of winter melting into spring.