Sunday with Mackenzie was a good day. After some dinner at Nana’s and shooting a few hoops with her “Cinderella” ball, it was off to the ice cream place. She worked her kiddie cone chocolate chip cookie dough like a squirrel enjoying their first acorn of the season. She carefully prevented any drippage as she systematically chipped away at the sugar cone with her little teeth. Not “baby teeth,” mind you, she’s a “big girl.” She and Auntie Megan engaged in some girl talk as they devoured their screams on the sun drenched picnic table. Meanwhile, Kyle sat silently attempting to extract all ice cream from his cone with his tongue. I think there may have been a Gene Simmons comment, but he ignored it and dutifully kept at his task.

Earlier at dinner, there was a brief exchange between Kenzie and her Uncle Kyle. I mentioned something about Jessica playing softball when she was young. Even though her mom’s not around, Mackenzie still likes to hear about her. Kyle is pretty upset with his sister and said, “I can’t stand Jessica.” Now if Jessica were to have walked in the house at that moment, Kyle would have been quickly loving her, but as it is, he struggles with his emotions on the whole thing. I said something like “you don’t mean that… that’s your sister.” He responded with a “not anymore!” Everyone was quiet for a few seconds, but then carried on with passing food and pouring drinks. Well, all except the little one. She looked up at her uncle with her big brown eyes and said softly and very matter of factly, “She didn’t do anything to you.” No one heard it but me and Kyle didn’t react. With all she’s been through, this child of four is still fighting for her mom. I’m going to send this little story to my daughter Jessica. Maybe it will help her to fight on for just a minute or an hour or a day so that Mackenzie’s efforts will not be in vain.