it’s more than singing these days. “Jesus” is something Joey says all of the time, now, like water, or bread, or Lego, like he’s learning a new word and he doesn’t want to forget it.

but then there is everything else.

like the fact that he sleeping with the stuffy his daddy bought him. his daddy, who beat up his mommy. his daddy, who never came to Joey’s birthday.

and every day during quiet time, he colors a picture for his mommy, whom he’s terrified of forgetting, and after a really good day, he always cries for her. he’s loyal that way.

this morning i was helping him get dressed for church, and it was very important to him that he look cool. and i remembered that Joey’s dad used to make fun of him if he wore certain clothes. and he wouldn’t let his son cry because then he’d be a girl.

i’m trying to respect this image of family that joey clings to, for it’s all that he has.

sometimes he pushes Aiden, because Aiden has a mommy and a daddy, and Jin calls me mommy now. but Joey never will. i am “auntie em” to him, and that’s the way i want it to be.

because his mommy is my friend, and she’s one of the bravest women i know.

but it’s hard. it’s hard to know how to love on her children without making them mine. without falling so hard i’ll forget to respect the line.

and so we’re calling on Jesus a lot around here, especially on sundays. because every sunday, it feels like the prayers just kind of run out. maybe because people are in church?

i don’t know. but sundays are always hard. i’m always irritable and today trenton was sick and the boys all wild, like they’d just eaten an entire chocolate cake, and all i wanted was a latte and a laptop.

so i cried Jesus and i painted a little during nap-time.

and i emptied myself of emily so i could be filled again with God. because in the end, he’s all the family we need.

*friends… just so you know… i adore you. and i’m planning on resurrecting Imperfect Prose on Thursdays after Easter. i miss it too much.:)*

with ann today (and laura, and jen)…. thankful for:

701. when i cried “heaven help me” today, trent’s mom showed up.
702. the boys, gathering rocks and rain water in cups.
703. a friend who helped me fold five piles of laundry and baked me banana bread.
704. a husband, who made me cheese sticks and designed them pretty on the plate.
705. a brand-new baby niece, charity sophia.
706. a sister who’s found love
707. the possibility of another book contract.
708. a girl who’s willing to be a nanny for our children.
709. northern lights and full moons.
710. Jesus