+[remembering, rejoicing]+

Peyton was born just as Savannah was realizing we were really having fun. At 18 months apart, they have truly not known life without one another. Well, Savannah might argue that a bit.

Long ago, in a land not very far away, Savannah, with her near two year old sweetness, would look at me in pleading and say, "baby night,night?" This meant she wanted me to ignore her sister and give her some one-on-one attention.

My quench for that spoken desire was to set a blanket out in our yard, make a picnic with her helping hands, and read to her beneath the open sky. Her sister was just inside where I could easily hear her if she needed me, but honestly I don't remember her ever pulling me away during those reading respites. Those moments with Savannah are tucked quietly in my heart, savored.

I've had the flu for the past few days. 103 fever, the whole fiesta. Now Peyton has it. So this morning as Savannah and I began school she asked if I would read to her today as I did so long ago; her pick of story and "just us" beneath the trees and open sky. I love it that she too remembers that precious time.

I told her to pick a book (denying the great urge I had to insist that we continue on with Uncle Toms Cabin and our regular morning history lessons) and meet me outside, bargained that I would have to step away occasionally to check on Peyt, load laundry, etc but other than those duties, I was hers for the day. She also had her own school projects to finish and Math/Science to do. In my "time away" moments she did a science test and typed her art contest entry summary. But the rest of the day I read to her while her hands worked.

As the tall pines swayed in the mountain air and the birds collected, as if to hear her chosen story as well, I recounted The Magicians Nephew on a blanket next to that delightful girl. Her favorite childhood story, I had a feeling that's the one she would pick.  Cars drove by, neighbors honked and stopped to chat.  We read on.

My days with her are fleeting. I feel that hourglass dropping grains everyday. It's a river of running thankfulness that these days, which are so full for her in the way of maturing, are also sprinkled graciously with memory making moments like these. I get to be here. I'm just so thankful.

Hours passed as the pages turned. Were still not finished with the story but will have completed it by bedtime tonight.  Our noses are a bit sunburned and my voice even more scratchy. But I do hope this day remains just this sunny forever in my memory.   "Momma, I love it when you read to me," she said as we broke reading until after dinner.  "I hope you never stop, even when Im old."

Now off to have a bedside cup of tea with Peyt before getting dinner together.