Friday, March 30, 2007

Passing Days and Paper Routes

I have a date tonight. YES, it's with a boy. Stop snorting. You can put your eyebrow back down, too. And, er, yes, my mother's coming along. Not to chaperone--he asked her, too.

The boy in question is in fact my eleven-year-old brother Jonathan. He's taking us to Canada's watering hole (coffeeing hole?), Tim Horton's, for a treat because we help him with his paper route.

We actually help a lot of people with their paper routes. At the moment I believe we have six Pennysaver routes to our family name, which makes for a whole lot of stacking and rolling and stuffing and carrying. Our living room turns into a paper processing factory every Thursday as the route owners prepare to ready, set, deliver. A few of us, including Mom and I, help out with delivery on Friday because it's good exercise and it's nice to pull together.

In the past, my family of fourteen did everything together. Now that we older ones are getting older, that doesn't happen quite so much. We have a lot of different interests and goals we're pursuing, besides relationships and commitments and what not else. So it's a peculiar joy, every Friday, to look at the people walking down both sides of the street and know that they're mine. All of them, from the tall ones striding along like they own the world to the little one struggling to keep up; from my mother, who looks amazing at fifty, to my brother Jim who astounds me at almost-fifteen.

When we got home today, three of the little girls were holding hands and dancing around the purple amaryllis that's blooming in the front yard. Just before we reached them, they let go and fell around each other in the grass. Then Tabithah, who's almost four and not-a-baby, jumped up and came running for me, heavy winter boots clomping beneath her short-sleeved purple dress, arms open wide. She grabbed me around the knees and hugged tight.

Life keeps changing as the days go by. Babies turn into four-year-old in winter boots, "middle kids" become strapping young men, eleven-year-old brothers take mothers and sisters out for donuts and coffee. As much as my busy schedule and sprouting writing career dictate that I spend a lot of time apart, I'm trying to keep my heart at home. To pay attention. To "catch the moments as they run."

* * *

P.S.

In case you didn't know, the book my cousin and I wrote on big family life is due for release next year.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Kerri said...

What a very sweet young man to be showing his appreciation like that! I've said before, I think Canada is plotting to take over the US, one Tim Horton's at a time. And I did recently find out both a)what a double-double is and b)that I can order one at TH's here. :)

Here via CoFL

5:41 p.m.  

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