While the cold seeps past cracks and gaps in the armor of our home, the Sun beams itself through glass, splashing across floors and walls. I feel its heat across my legs and the back of my hand holding a book at which I've been stealing glimpses as the day allows. The extra warmth is a welcome blanket, helping to counter the frigid gusts of the past few days. In the midst of my reading, I feel that uneasy quiet that usually settles over the house when one or more of the kids is engrossed in some forbidden ritual that results in a clean up-to-quiet ratio so unbalanced it is rarely worth the silent moment of bliss. With this in mind I put down my book and regretfully peel away from my block of sunshine. Typically, I account for the posse in reverse order of age so I am happy to find the youngest two together. In a chair by the fire, Adelaide flips through the pages of a familiar board book and relays her version of the tale to Harper. He listens attentively aiming his two year old fingers at points of interest along the way. The brevity of this scene is assured so I pause in brief admiration and leave them undisturbed.
"Papa! Can you do this for me?!" I follow the sound of Ezra's voice into the kitchen where he has chosen a project from the pages of a science book. Unwilling to divulge exactly what he is working on, he simply asks me to paperpunch a small hole in the side of a plastic bottle. I pry for more info and he pacifies me with a simple, "I don't like to follow the steps EXACTLY, they're more of a guideline."
"MmmmmmHmm," I say, popping the punch through and handing him back the bottle with a suspicious eye that he is well versed in ignoring.
The sound of vibrating strings steals my attention and I follow the slightly hesitant and irregular bursts of strumming until I find Calvin with his nose up against the pages of his guitar handbook. My presence remains unacknowledged as he continues to shape his fingers into the chords that are pictured. He rings each string individually to ensure that none are muted. Once satisfied with his finger placement, he strums a bit and moves on to study the next chord.
The sound of pattering feet has me returning to check on Harper. I find him darting through the rooms downstairs to retrieve more reading material for his private session with his big sister. I realize the chances of returning to my own book are lost when Ezra announces that his experiment is ready for a public trial.
Ahhhhh, yes. The pursuit of knowledge...