It’s been a long, stressful week for us. Zoe was home from school with a horrible virus for four days. Randy started a new job–which is great–but of course mentally exhausting and physically draining with new things to learn and new routines and a new commute. I am 35 weeks pregnant and continue to be generally a mess. AND we turned our house upside down in an effort to rearrange our rooms so Zoe and the baby will have a larger room to share and my office, which was in the larger room, moves to the room Zoe was inhabiting. This sounded so relatively simple when we planned it out. Randy even created the computer model of the rooms and the furniture so we could make sure everything would fit where we needed it to go. But of course the computer model doesn’t include all the STUFF that is everywhere, and we had to haul boxes and boxes of junk downstairs and into our bedroom and all over the place in order to accomplish this feat. It’s still not done. But it’s getting there.

All this is to say that we were all dragging a little today. Zoe and I went to church, though, and midway through the service, she asked if she could lie down on the pew. She put her head on my leg and fell asleep. Zoe LOVES church. She begs to go. So I knew if she wanted to sleep that she really needed to sleep. So she slept through the sermon and the last hymn and the benediction. Her favorite part of the service is usually the music after the benediction. So I gently nudged her awake so she could hear the song. Today’s musicians were All Souls’ jazz artist in resident, Rochelle Rice, who has a fantastic voice and beautiful presence, and an amazing jazz combo backing her up. They performed an inspirational interpretation of U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” which was soul stirring. We were sitting up in the balcony and I stood up to clap and sway along, as did many others. Next to me, Zoe had a big brown bear in a yellow sundress that she brought to church because she made her yesterday at a Build-a-Bear Workshop birthday party. She had her bear dancing and clapping along on the balcony as well.

After the service a man I’d never met before came up to us and introduced himself. He said he and his family were sitting across the church in the other balcony and loved seeing Zoe and her dancing bear. “It was the most inspirational thing!” he said. He seemed so happy that Zoe and her bear had been dancing. Then we went downstairs to use the bathroom and two other people we passed exclaimed, “I saw your bear dancing!” as if it had been a Palm Sunday miracle. I was amused. I forget how visible we are in the balcony. But it made me happy that Zoe woke up in time to enjoy the last song with me and that she and her bear brought some sunshine into other people’s morning.