I snapped this picture of Lucy right before she went into school.

The last six year old picture

And four minutes later, she turned seven while doing her morning work.

My Hostas

by Leslie

I’d bought all they had
at the town Farmer’s Market
a plant I can’t kill!

Plants I can't kill (hostas)

Now, four years later
8 plants become 24
hostas all around!

Hostas all around

Poking through the dirt
as hopeful as a promise
can’t wait till they bloom

Poking through the dirt

Flashback! About four years ago. The kid in the picture? IS SEVEN TODAY!

Walking the Trail

by Leslie

We were out on a dreary day and met a crawdad on the way to our walking trail. He was the biggest I’d ever seen!

Mr. Crawdad

He was right beside the road, closer to our house than to the trail, making his way to the stream after a big rain. He didn’t move for the longest time. Still, Bee and Jack were happy to sit still in their wagon and watch him from there.

Once we got off the road, the kids ditched their ride to enjoy the freedom of the trail. Jack ran ahead as fast as he could. Bee took her time, and stopped to investigate rocks and pick flowers.

Jack walks alone

We stopped at the brown bridge.

Jack and Bee on the brown bridge

Bee was wearing pajamas bottoms. That would have driven me nuts before. Not now. Not anymore.

Bee and Me at the brown bridge

I love walking the trail. It’s easier to be present there.

Jack and Daddy on the trail

It’s easier to feel grateful.

We were out on the trail on a sunny day while Lucy and Dave were at softball.

Jack and Julia

Jack and Julia walked ahead while Bee held my hand, letting go now and then to pick me a flower or to pick up a lucky stone and put it in her pocket.

She carried him

After a while, Julia carried Jack.

And carried him

We could hear them laughing and singing songs.

And he loved it

And so Bee and I caught up to them and joined in.

Julia, Bee, and Jack on the trail

I felt grateful.

I was brushing my teeth on Easter morning when Phoebe the Early Riser quietly sidled up to me and said, “Mom. I need to tell you the story of the Easter Bunny.”

“Okay,” I garbled. I spit, replaced my toothbrush in its holder, and took a seat on the edge of the tub in preparation for the telling. “Let’s hear it.”

“I crept down the stairs,” she began softly and slowly, wiggling her fingers, then suddenly gaining speed and volume she erupted, “and there was toys and candy everywhere!” She gestured sharply with her hands to emphasize the words TOYS and CANDY and EVERYWHERE. “The Easter Bunny brought them,” she said with whaddaya gonna do hands.

It was a shorty story.

She told it again to her brother, sisters, and grandmother and then we all clamored downstairs to verify the facts. Toys? Check. Candy? Check. Everywhere? Sure. The kids tore right into it all while I made bacon baskets filled with scrambled eggs for breakfast. After that, we set them loose outside to search for Easter eggs.

This year, I found a set of three giant nesting Easter eggs and included them in the hunt. I filled the smallest of the giant eggs with candy. The bigger one held bottles of bubble solution. I stuffed the biggest one with cans of silly string. I hid it in plain sight on the dashboard of the van, which was sitting in the driveway, and I locked the doors to ensure that all the kids would be together in one spot when they were unlocked and the contents of the egg revealed. This was how Dave and I were able to strike first, strike hard, and ultimately, win the silly string battle.

After that, the giant egg parts became helmets.

Yes, magic helmet, and I'll give you a sample!

“Yes, magic helmet, and I’ll give you a sample!” Right?

My Sweet Moonbeam

by Leslie

Phoebe. Bright and shining, radiant as the moon, as her name suggests, with a bit of a sullen streak. She’s a got a scowl that most kids have to go through the pain of puberty to earn. It’s impressive! But nothing compare to her smile.




Swinging Bee

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