We’re way behind schedule when we walk in the door and I call out a litany of frantic mother phrases, “Shoes off! Hands washed!
August-do-your-reading-for-ten-minutes!” while I lay Ace on the quilt in the living room and toss a couple of toys his way before starting dinner.
Brooks is not happy about my plan for fish tacos.
He’s on the verge of a meltdown all the time right now. He whines in the kitchen and I ignore his protests.
“Sometimes you like dinner and sometimes you don’t and that’s just how it goes, darlin.” I say. The last remaining bits of my Texas drawl show up when I lecture my children. Can’t help it.
August is not whining. He’s in his room with his nose in a book about snakes.
I breathe out a Thank you, Lord for that reality.
He’s seven now and beginning to overcome his temper. Asking him to read for ten minutes last year might have erupted in a full-blown big kid tantrum.
And, bless it, my child is actually doing what I asked.
Brooksie takes his whining away from the kitchen. The fish is salted and peppered and ready to go on the pan. I’m moving from fridge to cutting board, listening for Ace, watching the timer for August’s reading. Chop the onion, slice the avocado.
I hear Brooks’ little four-year-old voice. He speaks quiet: “You are the cutest baby in the whole world, little Acer. Cutest little baby in the whole world.”
I put down my knife and peek into the room next door, where Brooks is on his belly, his chin propped up by his hands. Ace is on his back, his neck contorted in that way only babies can bend.
He’s staring at his big brother in awe.
Brooksie sings, “I am Ace-y, I am Ace-y. I’m a sweet little boy! I am Ace-y, I am Ace-y. And I bring so much joy!”
“Careful with your kisses, Brooksie!” I call from the doorway of the kitchen. Brooks is covering Ace’s face with wet smooches, and Ace is grunting his discomfort.
The giver of the kisses lets go and turns his head to me, still hovering above his brother’s face.“Mama, look. I can’t stop. He’s just too cute.”
I'm sharing the rest over on Ann Voskamp’s Good Reads blog today. On Ace, his brothers, and the hard work of learning to show hospitality to God's promises in the distance.