Thursday, February 7, 2013

Sunshine-y Day

Yesterday was one of those rare days, where the temperature lands just right on bare arms and the sun shines brave, glimmering through and burning off the morning fog with a gentle warmth and beckoning me outside. In a strange and unexpected turn of events, I even pull on some running pants and push Adam's fancy new jogging stroller quickly through the neighborhood. If not quite "running," it was at least a pace that quickened my breath and warmed my limbs. We end our brisk walk at the park. I sit on the bench with a missing plank, which cradles my bottom perfectly uncomfortably, while Caden swings slow and Jayci runs quick around the various playground apparatus. I smile as the sunshine scoots closer and wraps me in a delicious sense of not-quite-so-alone-ness. I have the perfect vantage point to watch the neighborhood boys play basketball, their silhouettes outlined in the glowing sinking sun. Their moves are peppered with jabs and good-natured (or sometimes down-right-mean) jonesing. A talkative three-year-old (whose name I cannot for the life of me understand no matter how many times I ask) swings next to Caden, and keeps asking me where my baby girl is. My eyes trail her easy friendship with the other similarly-aged children at the playground. They clump and climb together easily, her fair hair sticks straight up when she goes down the slide, and all the other girls smooth it down and wonder at its softness. Ever-so-often, she grins at me or points out one of the boys she knows on the baskbetball court. Inevitably, she runs over for a hug or to yell I LOVE YOU towards the court, which both embarrasses and pleases the recipient.
Walking home as the sun sinks lower and our shadows lengthen, it's easy to forget the cares of the week, the burdens of the neighborhood. Caden's pneumonia, diagnosed on Monday, is all-but-forgotten. All that remains is the occasional cough, and a desperation to make up for several nights of no-sleep-at-all. The Anteater boys are in high spirits, despite dual losses and a gang-fight on the bus (which several of them were apparently a part of. sigh). The stroller wheels over a fresh tag on the street next to our fence, and I squint to decipher the yellow words: RIP someone and free someone else.

We arrive home to find five teenagers lounging in the living room, watching various YouTube videos of rap and/or comedy. The smells of Adam's cooking embrace me as I walk through the door. I hug all around, squeezing hands and winking while teasing them about doing their homework, and set the table for eight. Adam raises his eyebrows, reminding me he only made enough for four. I smile and cut chicken breasts in half, pull bread from the pantry and fill cups with water. Because I have learned, and am still learning, that God always gives us enough. And maybe we don't have any leftovers, no sweet potatoes for lunch tomorrow. But he provides grace, and sustenance, enough for this day. Every day.

Totally Unrelated Side note -- Big thanks to whoever nominated me for The Homies Best Family & Kids blog of 2013! I'd love for y'all to pop over and vote for me if you get a chance! Scroll all the way down (past all the blogs with lots of votes already) to find The Stanley Clan and vote now!) PS - apologies for the over-abundance of exclamation marks. My B.


  1. I always look forward to reading your posts. :)

    1. I've been thinking about you guys all day . . . praying for your sweet boy!!!

  2. Thank you for cutting the chicken in half.
    I want to come and live next door to you so I can share chicken too.
    Today when I was leaving Philly I passed the home of one of my babies and noticed that there were new drug dealers on the corner. I cried and cried. I hope the kids I know can resist. I think so many of them can resist actually doing the drugs, but can they resist the money? And sometimes they resist for so long. All through Junior high. And all through high school. But then, they trip up one time. They have a bad day. A break up maybe. Something happens and they try that very thing they have been avoiding all their life. And they get sucked in.

    It happens to the best of them. I wish I could make it stop. I am thankful God can. I am thankful he is sovereign. I am thankful you are there in Atalanta shining his light.

    Off to vote for you this very second.

    Love you : ) Becky


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