It seems like Summer just arrived with her straw hat and flip flops on, knocking at my door asking us to come out and play, and already I look over my shoulder and see that she is packing her beach bag and folding up her picnic blanket. How dare she! She always does this to me. She knows it takes me a while to find my Fun Mom suit under all the laundry, and put it on.
The other night the kids asked if I would take them swimming next door. It was 512 degrees out, and I didn't want to go, but I saw Summer roll her eyes at me, so I said yes.
As always happens, I loosened up once I got there, enjoying watching the kids in the water with their little sis. Jonah was tickled that Betty had the sprinter on, a sighting as rare as Sasquatch these days, and he couldn't decide if it was more fun to run in the sprinkler or swim, so he ping-ponged between the two.
Nano to grew cold and got out of the pool to sit by me, bundled in her little frog towel. She snuggled deeply at my hip, chattering away like a little chickadee, and just as easy to understand. Her suit soaked through the towel and my pants, the feeling a cross between refreshingly cool and annoyingly wet. With my reading glasses on I looked down at her little face tucked beneath my wing and noticed a spray of tiny freckles on her cheeks that I've never seen there before. Her lips, slightly tinged a chilly blue, smiled up at me as she prattled on naming the kids and asking for her favorite songs. In that moment she was so amazingly vivid. It reminded me of a time when a hummingbird hit our window, and gathering it up in my hand while it sat, still and stunned, I was able to admire its astounding beauty for a few fleeting minutes before it flew away. Looking down at Natalie's glowing little face, alive with the moment, I could see the flecks of blue in her eyes and the pink returning to her lips. And, as little birds do, as soon as she was warmed through she flew off again to the pool, leaving me with my wet and empty arm and side, strangely chilled from her absense.
I looked up and saw the clouds spread evenly across the sky, just starting to turn pink. I read from my book a bit more and watched the kids, and when I looked heavenward again just minutes later, I saw that the clouds had already moved passed their cotton-candy pink into faint lavender-grey. So fleeting.
I do it every year. I get all caught up in the scrub and sweep, and forget to look up. Before you know it, we'll be hunkering down for the new school year. The thought makes me want to jump up and run through the sprinklers myself.