At Our Table


It was Friday after MOPS, which means it was a chaotic lunchtime at our house. I am the coordinator for our MOPS group and by the time we get home at noon, I am exhausted and spent, exhilarated, ready for a nap. Through my fog, I snapped this picture, and it perfectly captured everything about life these days.

We’re learning together, Cruz and I. I’m learning to be a brave mom and he’s learning to be a brave kid. He’s finding hidden pictures in coloring books and can write all of his letters on his own. He cries when London breaks his crayons, but we’re talking about the ways that laughing and singing and smiling make us feel better than crying ever could. I think it’s working. I’m handing bits of my lunch over to London. “‘Affle? ‘Affle?” she asks, increasingly insistent. “Dip!” “Wait, we forgot to do our ‘actions,’ ” Cruz reminds me. I pick up the preschooler devotional, and then we talk about ways to show love to each other. Sharing, giving gentle kisses, saying ‘I love you.’

We go for a fall walk and add to our collection in the middle of the kitchen table. Two pinecones, three leaves, two dried beanpods. Fall has been hard to find in Southern California, but we’re looking. I use the word ‘spooky’ as we walk around our neighborhood. Halloween is spooky. Bats and jack-o-lanterns are spooky. We can save scary for later.

It was Cruz’s birthday on Saturday and he brought cupcakes for his class on Thursday. They made him a birthday crown and no one has even worn construction paper and stickers and staples with more pride. We made the cupcakes together, and he picked out red cupcakes (his favorite color) with blue and green frosting. I’ve been sneaking the leftover frosting while the kids nap and it leaves a bright stain on my tongue.

Life gets piled, one thing on top of the other. It’s work mixed with MOPS mixed with toddler lunchtime and texts from friends. There is nothing I would clear away.


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