She comes in through the front door, in a quiet sort of mad rush and slips in close beside me on the sofa as I bounce the baby.
“Come look at the kids, Mama. They look different,” she whispers. The baby is sleeping.
“What do you mean they look different? Did their mama cut their hair?” I ask. I cover the baby with a blanket and get up to take a look.
“No, they just look happy. Like they can’t stop smiling.” Her face is spread wide and her hazel eyes are twinkling behind her glasses.
“I think they feel like sombody cares about them. Maybe they feel a little more loved today,” she says.
I stand amazed. I touch her arm and can’t say anything. My heart skips a beat. “Go on back out. I’m coming.”
I watch her through the window as she walks across the yard to meet the kids on the swing. Maybe it’s just the new underwear, I think. But I know she’s right.
I stand in the window, trying not to be seen, so that I can see what Elli sees. And she’s right. Sheer joy is all I see on those dirt stained faces.
Sorrow may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning…and in the afternoon.
I pause as I open the door and I remember the brownines. I smile to myself.
Maybe we can make all of those happy smiles all chocolatey.