Realizing that my time with Little Mother is short these days, I take 25 minutes and walk her to school. Already straining at independence, she holds the dog's leash and walks ten steps ahead of Sunshine and I. Either she is embarrassed by her entourage or she is hoping all admiring comments and glances at the gregarious pug will be directed at her and her adultness, not her mom and kid sister. I sigh. Yet I understand. Despite her distance, at the crosswalk, we unashamedly pile into a large group hug. Kisses and expressions of love are shared while all around us bikes, scooters and strollers pass and stare. One more hug. Fifty yards later, "Mom! Mom!" An I love you sign and frantic wave.
On the walk back, I turn my attention to Sunshine. She gathers up the roly polys that have escaped the morning sprinklers on the sidewalks. A snicker. "They're tickling me Mommy!" I pause and wait as she picks up another and another. I pause again. "I didn't mean to make you stand and wait," she humbly submits. "It's okay. I don't mind." I answer.
After a minute she adds, "After all, cleaning the house isn't that important."
"No, sweetie, it isn't. Being with you and the roly polys is much more important." We walk a little further.
"Not fighting and being kind. That's weally weally impotant. Wight mom?"
"Yes, that is really important."
We round the corner. "What is most impotant Mom?" . . . I don't believe in giving five year old answers to an old soul. I hope my brain will work quickly.
"God is. Loving Him. Knowing he loves you. Having him as your friend."
"Talking to him lots of times during the day through prayer. Listening to him by reading the words he wrote in scriptures. Talking and listening. That's how you make a friend."
We continue home, finding more roly polys.