The morning is only half over, and already, the girls have switched wardrobes a half-dozen times. As they dance through the living room -- ballerinas, now -- I call them to my side in the kitchen.
There is a project that needs doing. A project! There is nothing so welcome as a project on these long summer days, and we've been too long without one. Without a planned project specifically. Because mama's well is dry. On this day, the project is mostly unplanned as well, but it feels different and special because there are beads.
In a crystal bowl, the colors blend so that if one were to squint, it would seem as if there were melted bits of crayon floating on melted bits of candy. Beads.
In a fit of squeals and praise, my own colorful children settle into their chairs. Lauren's stripped her costume off, showing her pearly belly above the glowing table. Mia's back in her every-day dress. Their fingers plunge into the beaded piles, and they're in heaven.
Outside, the sky is dark and gray -- gloomy, even. Except, the lack of rain and cool, sheltering clouds this summer makes the gloom feel like adventure. Or rest. (Restful adventure?) Soft rain is falling so that we forget it's there unless we look across the yard into the woods. There, the drizzly, pale drops are in relief against the darkness of the trees, and we stare for minutes at a time. Rain is falling down, falling down, falling down...
I pull out a skein of old, pink yarn. Soft cotton. I draw a length for each girl, and they clap: I am a magician, pulling yards of gleaming silk from my palms; I am a fairy, producing threads of anticipation. A bit of tape on the ends will make the yarn threadable through our dollar-store beads, and the girls are off.
Mia fills her yarn with perfect rainbow-ordered beads while singing to remind herself of the perfection for which she aims: Red, orange, yellow...and green, followed by blue! Indigo and violet, that's a rainbow song for you!
Lauren is less particular, only enamored with the way her tiny fingers can manipulate a bead and a string into something beautiful:
If I could string moments on a length of magical, memory-recalling thread, this would be one of them. With the damp air falling heavy through our open windows, the silent rain cushioning the day, the girls enthralled with color and purpose...
And both of them happy. All of us happy. Even the baby in my womb rolls and stretches like he's ready to be among us happy folk. I rub the elbow or shoulder that forces a catch in my breath, and whisper to myself:
O, what a beautiful morning; O, what a beautiful day...