Tuesday, July 5, 2011

keep on keepin' on.

Yesterday, I stretched my sand-scraped legs down the picnic table bench. Face toward the sun, skin roasting darker, redder, and my daughter jumped along the green grass beside me. With one arm covering my eyes, I sighed and did my best to not feel the pace of life running at me. Fresh picked zucchini rolled on the tabletop and I felt the weight of life coming quick. Routine never feels very summerlike.

School messed us all up, making us believe summer was an endless dance in sprinklers and midnight stars. Now I'm back from a perfect, perfect, perfect vacation, and my to-do list is shouting from my computer bag way upstairs.

Then she crawled on top of me, craned her arms behind her head and stared at the same blue sky.

"The sun makes me happy, mama," she said.

"Me too."

"The queenie (zucchini) makes me happy, mama," she said.

"I like it too, love."

"The beach makes me happy, mama," she smiled.

And then I realized... she was counting.



She's been watching, and listening, and I listen as it continued... the grass, cousins, flowers, blue sky. She counted the blessings while I breathed against the weight of it all.

You know what I'm grateful for?

Life. The living of it. The passion of it. The waves pushing against my legs, pushing me to the ground. Family with love so big, it feels like a dream. Toes painted orange, digging in sand. Skirts of color and sun. Sheer and light, gentle and soft. Bruised, scraped, and covered with signs of living and doing, jumping in and falling.

I'm back on this picnic table, and everything is quiet. Just one child, not 19. No siblings. Swings not creaking. And I find that when I paused counting, the list continued growing.


  1. Love love love. So much love for this post and this child and you and all of it. Love.

  2. I could feel my joy mounting as I read your post. Children mimic what they hear. When we plant gratitude seeds they sprout with gratitude. When we plant grumbling seeds our children also sprout with the grumbles and their growth is stilted. Your daughter is blessed.

    With joy,

  3. lore — we have lots of love for you up here too.

    pamela — i love your words... it's true that they will sprout with grumbling when those are the seeds we plant. it was a lovely surprise to find that she's been listening :) thanks for stopping by today!

  4. The other day my oldest was complaining she didn't get to do something, so I asked her, "What are you grateful for?" And she started listing all of these things. The gratitude really helps put things in perspective for little kids, big kids, and the grown-ups. So glad to see you here today!