Abe snuggles into my chest tonight and says he's "nesting."
"I'm the bird. You're the nest."
Split pea soup for a family with a mom needing to sit down and rest (you read me? sit down and rest). Home-made bread by the nephew who lives downstairs. Pasta sauce thrown together from leftover bits and pieces in the refrigerator.
A new copy of Peter and Wendy, borrowed from a friend. The first official chapter book. He sits still and listens for a few chapters, the scenes from the movies bounding around in his head as we read.
How many times in this house do we hear, "Peter and Wendy."
"John and Michael."
"I don't want to grow up."
"We got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout."
"Captain Hook! I'm gonna getcha!"
"Alabama, Arkansas, I do love my ma and pa..."
"I don't want a treat. Do I have to finish my dinner?"
"Can I listen to Snoopy and the Red Baron?"
"Can you tell me a story about when you were a little girl?"
Early this morning, I wake up to snow and rain outside. Early morning, driving three African elders to a meeting downtown. Two are on time. One is late. It's still snowing. We head out, leaving the one behind. Then we see him walking down the street so I pull over. His friends open the door and yell for him. He jumps in. The three of them laugh off and on the whole way across town on Burnside, and I wish I understood all the jokes.
We are late for the meeting. When it's their turn to speak, they tell their stories, and I believe every heart there was softened by words like "I thank God for this opportunity" and "I am only a burden to my daughter who supports me" and "Everywhere I go, I am looking looking looking for work but there is nothing" and "I am a refugee. My wife and children are waiting in Kenya. When will I see them?"
My job allows me the beautiful responsibility of holding some of the burden of the immigrant and refugee. It's never enough that I lift. My prayer is that I am resourceful and stubborn to do things for these people. I carry them in my heart at all times. They've worked their way in and will never leave, not for my whole life.
The song coming from the preschooler in the bathtub as I write this:
"Home. Let me come home. Home is wherever I'm with you."
Then, he crows, just like Peter Pan does.