I knew something was up when my seed catalog was missing from my desk. It was definitely there when I went to bed last night, because I had just finished three hours of pouring over it and making lists. Yup, lists. Plural.
“Matt… have you seen my seed catalog today?”
Maybe it was just my imagination, but didn’t his eyebrow lift in that quirky way of saying he thought I was out of my mind? “Isn’t it buried in that pile of papers on your desk?” Then he had the nerve to turn back to his book (umm… Bible actually) and ignore my rising panic.
“Matt, this is serious! I spent three hours on that last night!”
“Uhhuh. And at least eighteen more since it came in the mail last week.”
The sound of a small body hurtling itself down the stairs stopped my snappy comeback (or it would have if had I come up with one).
“Mommy! Can I have a garden this year too? This is what I want to plant….” I had to press my hand down on her fly-away curls to still her long enough to see that the white blur in her hand was a list and the colorful blur in the other hand was my catalog. She handed me the list (lists!) and babbled away as I looked at the sheaf of papers.
“Um, sweetheart…. This would take all fifty-five acres of our property just for the first page! This is just not realist….” Once again I was cut off, but this time by my husband. Apparently he had been listening to my daughter’s hysterics (after ignoring mine!) and shot me one of his looks. I hate those. I glared at him but he didn’t even notice. He was pulling Beth into his lap and cuddling her close with that special smile that was all hers.
“You and your mommy are just alike, Princess. She made a list just like yours!” There was that special glare for me again. Not fair!
“Let me see here.” As he took Beth’s list his look changed. Uh-oh. I liked the glare better than the glint of mischief that had replaced it.
“Wow, these are some great ideas. I think we could eventually do most of these. Pick a few for this year and save the others for other years. If we did all of these you would be so busy working in the garden and taking care of all the veggies, you would have no time to play with your puppy or ride your horse. Your poor bike would just sit and rust away with no eight year old to ride it.” I watched his hand stroke her blond curls and was flooded with love for this wise man that I would spend the rest of my life with.
“You and Mom could come up with one page of things to order and then we can see how this year goes so we have a better idea of how much we can handle next year.” He didn’t even look at me or he would have seen the hackles rise. “We want to have time to enjoy this country life, right? Little steps help us learn so that those bigger steps are easier to handle without tripping us up!” Now he dared to brave a conciliatory smile my way. “After all, we don’t want to overwhelm ourselves the first year when we have all those years ahead of us.” Ok, fine. Maybe he did have a point. But I wasn’t thrilled about it.
Beth, her bubbly nature effervescing once again, bounced away to collect my lists. Daddy was her hero after all. I stepped (stomped) past him to follow Beth, but he pulled me down onto his lap.
“You know I’m right, and you just resent it and don’t want to admit it.” The urge to do something to him rose up in me. I just couldn’t figure out what that wouldn’t get me in trouble with God and the law. “I am just as excited as the two of you, but I want this to be fun for us. I want to enjoy my pioneer wife, not see her work herself into a coma.” Ok, maybe he was just protecting me from myself. I snuggled closer and nestled my face into his neck.
“Princess,” he whispered into my hair, ”about those two hundred chicks you want to order…”
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