Saturday, March 02, 2013

Love Stories

Tonight Piper and I finished Sarah Plain and Tall which is one of my favorite children's books. I found I still tear up at the end when Sarah decides to stay. And as always I find myself moved at how a family falls in love. It's a lovely reminder that love was not always the way we have it now. And it also makes me realize how much of H and mine love story is also the love story of a family. 

Today was a simple day. We linger over a pancake breakfast, bantering. We went to a coffee shop where the son bathed us in the warm sunlight. It was the kind of day that was typical for us but also the kind of day that makes me fall in love all over again. Funnily it wasn't a perfect day. R had a few tantrums at the coffee shop. Camille was sassy and rude. Umberto ignored us. Piper whined. Soda was spilled. Someone shredded the leaves from a potted tree. We were loud and got dirty looks from busy studious college students. But there was also laughing, shared jokes, (meggings..who knew?!). There were books read. Babies nursed and cuddled. Sweet brownies and creamy coffee. Love is messy after all. And so sweet.

Tonight, after getting rid of a killer headache, I snuggled against H who was holding sweet Jude. Wrapped in his arm, warm, I finished reading Sarah Plain and Tall. This is one of my favorite children's books, and I was really excited when Piper asked me to pick a book for her. I hadn't read this one in many years but I had fond memories of it when my mom used it in her second grade classroom. As I read about Papa's letter to a paper out East looking for a bride, I had to stop and explain to Piper that this was a common practice. Of course marriage was pretty different I told her than what you have know. People didn't always just go out and fall in love. Marriage was seen differently I told her. It was more practical.

But as I read through the story, I realized that at least in this story I was wrong. Sarah Plain and Tall is  a sweet love story. It's the story of a family falling in love, and it's lovely. Maybe I hadn't noticed it before because I didn't have my own little family. Now that I am here, surrounded by my beasties, I realized that this family is rather like a romance. Each day, I fall in love through all of it. The shit (literally and figuratively). The joy. The tears. 

Jude is a testament to this love and how it always ongoing. When we told the kids about Jude, they took it in stride. Camille got out books on Down syndrome and started to learn. Jude is now often found snoozing in Umberto's arms. Piper and R are her greatest source of entertainment. To the kids she is just another beastie to fall in love with, and indeed they are falling in love as are we. The romance continues for all of us. 

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