It is time for homemade soup. Mmm Mmm Good. Maybe it is the only redeeming quality of cold weather. While I sliced root vegetables and soaked dried porcinini mushrooms in boiling water Kira sampled her first celery and helped herself to an apple. She winds around my legs, singing, and dancing while I cook. She disappears into another room and I call for her, often running to see why she is silent. She is climbing everything. I lure her back to the kitchen, she has official helping business to do for me, “throw away”. She likes the pullout drawer for the trash and is just tall enough to peer inside. She has learned to say “dirty”. I look forward to when she and I are side by side at the counter assembling a recipe, solving the world’s problems and understanding the deep inner workings of one another’s feelings. It will be so different than how I spend time with the boys. They stay so much in the head, and the banter is always playful. Anytime I go to a real place inside a boy that is tender and vulnerable it is as though I had to work through a maze first to find it and then be sure all coasts are clear before treading lightly into this sensitive, unchartered, unfamiliar area of their hearts. Where I have to believe with Kira it will take one glance between us and she’ll spill all the feelings over the counter and we’ll sort them like an advanced puzzle. We girls have skills for this sort of work, so it is effortless and fun to go mucking through towards the rewards of understanding and enlightenment. For boys, it is more like a trip to the dentist with a sore tooth. The first thing they ask for is the pain killer.
For now the music is the great connector between my heart and Kira’s. She is tuned into music and dances around the house, spinning, dipping shoulders, swaying her arms, and tapping her toes. When she makes circles with her hips I cannot help but drop whatever it is I was doing and join her. When the boys crash our dance party we scowl at them. They just don’t understand how much fun it is. One boy will say, close the shutters, we don’t want our neighbors to see that! Kira and I ignore them and dance on.
When we are tired of dancing she runs to the shelf with the children’s books, lays one out flat on the floor, flops onto her belly and reads the pictures, flipping the pages not so carefully. She takes my breath away. She is a happy, smart little girl, settled sweetly into her family, full of innocence and untouched by the questions about her story that someday will walk beside her like a twin.
She loves going “night-night”, still sucking that one finger, and twiddling my earlobe as we say prayers. When I say “thank you for my mama and daddy, thank you for my brothers” I choke and drip tears. God has so carefully lifted this precious child out of the worst of circumstances and placed her into among the best. And I see clearly a lesson that is being shown to me again and again, “what man intended for evil God can use for good.” I walk humbly, joyfully participating in the good part of His plan for this little girl. I sit on the edge of my seat, eyes wide, senses alert, eager to learn what God has planned for this child when she is able to know Him and understand what He did for her.