Penny has been reading Thumbelina out loud to me. In this version, a woman (Anne Marie), desperate for a baby, pays a large sum of money to a witch who, in turn, gives her a small seed. The seed sprouts into a flower which, when the petals open, contains a tiny, perfect girl. I liked what Penny read me last night about Anne Marie’s reaction to this helpless new little person first looking into her eyes:
“Just then, a terrible fear swelled up in Anne Marie, replacing the ache for a baby that had been there before. What if something were to hurt this child? She trembled at the thought and resolved to do everything she could to protect the dear girl. . . .
“As Anne Marie looked at the little girl, she felt as though her blood were changing from yellow to red, or all the rivers in Denmark had changed their course so that now they flowed in the opposite direction. It was as though all the compasses had pointed south before, and now they knew to point toward the north pole.
“If Anne Marie had ever wondered who she was, she knew now. She was Thumbelina’s mother.”
Yes. I’ve felt Anne Marie’s very feelings. Seven times over. Nearly eight. And they repeat often – intensely and unexpectedly -- when I watch those seven sleeping, or bravely trying some new thing, or, . . . when I look through pictures that have frozen perfect little moments of their existences. . . .
We spent a good portion of last week (and the 4th of July weekend) at Bear Lake. Goldie had made a special request to spend her birthday there (and to be there before her birthday so she wouldn’t have to actually drive there on her special day). Her request was granted. It was a birthday complete with beach time, shakes, presents and . . . Rice-Krispie treats with candles for her cake.
Abe made a habit of photo bombing as many pictures as possible with a nice thumbs up and this face.
“Look,” I lamented to him at one point – showing him a perfectly handsome (though unfortunately blurry) picture that I’d caught of him when he wasn’t looking. “You’re so handsome. Don’t you want more pictures of you like this to remember some day?”
He simply went on with his photo bombing.
. . . Which is why we all had a good hard laugh when I snapped this picture – and Abe, who was completely unaware and wasn’t actually trying to ruin any photo at the moment, turned out looking like this:
Abe was pretty pleased that he’d managed that without even having to try.
My sister Shannon and her kids happened to be visiting from TX and were able to come hang out with us for most of the 4th. The girls and I had been using the henna ink that our good friend Fatimah had gifted us the week before (as she bid us farewell on her return to Saudi Arabia). When Shannon (who has alopecia) arrived we thought doing a little henna on her head would be a grand idea. Better pictures of all this henna business in my cell phone shots (which I’ll add to my next post). (Sorry only a tongue poking out pic, Shan. You still look cool though. So, whatevs.)
There was also a fair amount of 4-wheeling. And a trip to a cave (without me and Summer). And Mike picking 8 billion thorns out of my jog-stroller tires (bless him). I often wonder if my kids would have an ounce of fun if they had only me . . . and no Mike. Kayaks? Caves? 4-wheelers? Exhausting, I’d say. Luckily, they do have Mike. (And so do I.)
At one point I saw Mike and Jesse riding up the dirt road towards our cabin together on a 4-wheeler. Mike’s arm was extended behind him and he was dragging a lawn mower. I knew immediately what had happened. They’d spotted this treasure by the dumpster and had naturally brought it back for Jesse to take apart. Which he did.
See? Much less fun if there were only me. I always just leave broken lawn mowers where I find them – which is a very boring thing to do.