When Summer Comes to Play

Sipping chicory tea under a string of lights; I’m reflecting on time spent with my little Isaiah. Today, his giggles ran through the air as he hid in plain sight and waited for me to find him. I scooped him up, kissed his cheeks, and whispered in his ears. “Here you go. I’ll put you down now so you can play.” He stepped across the room on uncertain feet and melted back into my arms. “Mama, Mama, Mama…”, he cooed. As if it say, “It’s okay to hold me a little longer.”

I look down at my lap. Ezra is laying across me…watching Fantastic Mr. Fox. He just finished recounting every moment of his day, eyes glowing and wide, hardly stopping to take a breath…

He came home clutching a bag of seashells, a box of chocolates (Ferrero Rocher- his favorite), a golden bell, a slice of cake, still-damp swim shorts, and a new fanny pack.

Summertime held in the palms of his hands and told through his bright eyes. Childhood in all of it’s sugar sweet. All the magic of splashing swim kicks under a rolling sky.

And I get to live it all again. Every brilliant moment in the sun. Every wobbly step and bold cannonball. Every crumb of chocolate. Every thrill of hide-and-seek. I see and taste and feel it all. They carry wonder and pass it to me with dancing eyes.

And I remember why I loved summer as a child. Before all I could feel was the relentless heat. Before I squinted hard at the long days… stretching out across glaring sidewalks and the sting of a mosquito’s bite.

When summer was diving under the turquoise cool and licking a chocolate fork clean.

When summer was stacking blocks just to watch them fall.

When summer was seashells and cheese sandwiches.

When summer was a Grandma’s warm hug and skipping into the store.

The thunder rolls outside. I crawl into bed remembering just exactly what it felt like to end a day lost to imagination and the full sun…. sleepy eyed, under a quilt of comfort, and waiting for the rain to fall.