Monday night was full. Full of kids and time with family. Full of Shani stopping by and a puzzle and conversation. Full of struggle to engage.
Working on a puzzle together was a new thing. Steve pulled the side table to the middle of the living room and opened its leaves. Then he put chairs around it and dumped out the pieces. This was a first for this generation of littles.
Shani remembers the New Year’s Eve Irish Blessing puzzle that the bigs worked on when they were little. It was shamrock-shaped.
And then Uncle Nick finished it when they were in bed.
I wish we had taken a picture of puzzle-master Shani working her magic, but there are no pictures, only memories.
Memories of laughter and arguing over placement and reading the next chapter of Fig Pudding to the next generation of littles.
There is a picture from the following morning when siblings woke early to work on it together. Before the strife.
I had to silence my phone and creep around the corner to get this shot. Shalom.
Then the shatter.
I find it interesting that this week my Bible reading is in Genesis (okay, maybe that’s not the interesting thing, since it is January). Interesting is that I just finished the story of Joseph.
Here is a snippet from Wednesday morning’s journal entry . . .
Morning dawns with sibling strife as I read about Joseph and his brothers. It is nearing the resolution part of the story, as Joseph turns away and weeps before further testing their hearts and motives.
We are still in the season of pit-throwing, though I can relate to Jacob’s lament, All this has come against me!
A completed puzzle rests on the table in the living room, while arguments ensue about who put in which piece and how many and the last piece, and who is better at puzzles.
We all want to be better than someone else.
So there is it. The puzzle started with Shani on Monday was completed on Wednesday, opening a floodgate of memories from an arts trip I took to Chicago in 2013. Kieran was in ninth grade. I was a chaperone. I began the return here.
It’s puzzling to me how this week has played out. From the surprising start to the tumultuous finish, I continue to be amazed by this very full life I’ve been given to live with lots of friends, big and little, to journey alongside of me.