Abbey Hates Peru (for about three minutes)

Abbey doesn’t want to go to Peru. “Never, ever, ever!” she wailed two evenings ago. Completely inconsolable. What’s a parent to do with that?

Steph took her aside and held her and talked with her. Turns out Abbey mostly didn’t want to load the dishwasher or something and decided to vent her fury on something, and Peru was handy. Poor Peru.

Have you ever met Abbey?

Not long after this episode, I came home from school, and Abbey began talking a blue-streak about how amazing Peru will be and how she can’t wait to get there. “Ask me how I am, Papi,” she said, eyes twinkling with scarcely suppressed glee.

-¿Como está usted, Abi?- I asked her.

“Well, I’m a little bit mal and a little bit así-así,” she replied nonchalantly, brushing her always-unruly hair out of her face like a little woman (she thinks that’s how little women do it). Then she turns to me and whispers conspiratorially, “That means I was a little bad, but now I’m kinda okay.”

Have you ever met Abbey?

At family devotions after supper, we sang our Spanish songs. Her favorite is “Canta Aleluya.” She will sing it endlessly–if we let her. “Can we sing it as a round tonight, Daddy? I mean, Papi! Can we, Papi? I’ll sing the low part with you.” She cuddles up to me, crushing my bruised rib. Again. And she lets her naturally alto voice roll.

Bedtime can be a bit of a circus unless the ringmaster and his beautiful assistant are vigilant. This night we all got tucked away upstairs in good time. It was Abbey’s turn to massage Daddy’s shoulders in the chair in the corner of their room while the others had to go to sleep. Those five minutes are always precious.

“Papi,” (She remembers this time.) “Papi, I can’t wait to go to Peru. Do you know why?”

“I’m not sure, but you can tell me.”

“Because I’m so excited to tell the Peru people about Jesus! Won’t that be fun, Daddy?” (I can’t decide which term makes my heart glow more.) “Okay, I’m done. I’m ready to sleep.” Abbey is generally decisive. “How do you say goodnight?”

“You say buenas noches.”

She giggles. “Buenas noches, Papi. I love you.” She crushes my neck in a bear hug from behind and leans forward to kiss my cheek.

Once my breath returns, I manage to rasp out, “Buenas noches, Abi. I love you, too.”

Have you ever met Abbey?