I’m dimly aware of living-room chatter above the skillet’s hiss-pop. My bones are heavy and the day is long (but the years are short) and I grumble. I squeeze my eyes against the onion-sting as I silently beseech the pasta to cook itself.
They are drawing at the coffee table. The chatter clarifies.
“I’m making a comic book called Around the House,” says Alex. “See, there are pictures and words in every box.”
Brynn sighs. “I wish I could have words with my picture.”
I’ve been meaning to help her with that more often, with stringing letters together. Where does the time go? I stifle my guilt and return to the pan with renewed vigor; suddenly cooking dinner is the least I can do.
I hear Alex. “Like this. C. A. T. See? Now, what do those letters say?”
Brynn, unsure. “K- Kuh? at? Cat. Cat! Cat!”
I drop my spatula.
“Yeah! What about this? What does this say?”
Brynn, stronger now, “Ah-ll-eh-ks.”
“Mom! She’s getting it!”
I peer around the corner. She’s standing tall, staring into space. “A.L.E.X. spells Alex!”
One word, but so much bigger. A gilded key. I see through her eyes; she’s pulling the door open to the brilliant room that waits to be unlocked, wide-eyed at the possibility of so many new dimensions.
I smile. “Brynn, you’re reading.”
Blessings are like that, aren’t they? They happen when you expect them least and need them most.