It’s a classic children’s book, written in the 1930’s. It is just the kind of story my brother and sister-in-law love to read aloud to their children. They are my own “five little peppers,” and they are my two nieces and three nephews. These Peppers live within sight of my tiny house. They are smart, funny, kind, and imaginative. They make me laugh, build me up, and just plain love me. And I love them.
There is nothing like walking up the hill, hearing the play sounds… shouts and laughter, knowing that it is my family making the joyful noises. Then, I am within sight, and across a yard they come running…my five. They surround me, and I am a “pepper” sandwich, with me as the filling, and lots of “bread” hugging the life right into me. Off they run, all of us calling “good-by” and “I love you,” and I am on my way again. So are they.
Or, when walking my pup, I look across the meadow, and there are the two tall ones leaping up and down, waving their arms! We meet in the middle of the field, and I am enveloped and hugged tight. We exchange greetings and pleasantries, and off we go in our opposite directions with our standard calls.
And, delivering my middle nephew from our “homework” club, I share snacks with all five, chatting it up, laughing, exchanging stories, and then the five good hugs. The gift of those five good hugs…there’s nothing like it. Oh how I love those children! And oh, how they grow!