7:45. A not-so-early morning run around the retention pond. The red-winged blackbirds and sparrows flit and chant their turf wars all around. Sun burns off the dew. Sweat trickles into my eyes. Young trees provide occasional, much-needed shade. A morning begun in solitude.
11:35. A trip with the boys to the grocery store. I send the two of them off on an adventure while I work my way down the grocery list. I click my tongue at some mom whose kid runs down the aisle with a shopping cart, then consider the hypocrisy of accusing someone else of poor parental supervision.
2:45. An afternoon at the pool. Summer hits in full force. I close my eyes and absorb. My pores drink in the warmth of the sun, the smell of the chlorine, and the sound of splashing and play. My stomach tightens when the boys go off the high dive, as always, yet I keep my poker face.
8:25. The air is still, silent, holding on to the last of the day’s heat yet warning of the storm to come. My eye catches a hint of green in the bushes by the house. I charge into the house, shouting “Fireflies!” The boys, true to their boyhood, leap up from the TV and join me in the first search of the season. Barefoot and full of hope, we tread onto the evening grass. Watching. Waiting. We find a glimmer and chase it with abandon. We catch two before calling it a night.
8:55. Lights flicker. Tornado sirens sound. Boys 1-2-3 spring into action, gather flashlights, batteries, activate the weather radio. Discussions ensue. Where to hide? The closet? The laundry room? The storm passes, but not one boy’s fear. Hiding in the drawer of the trundle bed, he waits for me to coax him out one finger at a time.
9:35. Distant sirens wail. The boys let loose giggles and shouts from their impromptu sleepover. Drizzle patters on the deck outside. I wait for quiet.