I hope everyone had a safe and fun Independence Day, and that most of you were able to keep cool. Of course, for almost everyone in the USA, that would be hard if you went out at all. We decided to brave the heat, and spent a little over four hours at our local lake, eagerly awaiting the fireworks display. I sat on a lawn chair for most of the evening, continuously applying bug spray (the harsh, antiseptic odor was worth it, not a bite on me!), while my husband and sons splashed in the very, very warm water. We sweated and swam, ate overpriced vendor food, and boogied to 70's dance and funk music. Max got our permission to dance on the sand, where he regaled those sitting on the beach's edge with his creative and enthusiastic moves. Finally, the sky grew dark enough. We sang the Star Spangled Banner, and waited for them to start the pyrotechnics. As much fun as we had been having, heat and all, the night just got better. This was Sam's first experience with fireworks. Every time a rocket flew into the air, his entire body would stiffen with excitement. Each explosion of color brought an exclamation from him, "Red! Green! Loud! Bright!" followed by simple, contagious laughs. Max loves the fireworks as well, but he's a cautious kid and a thinker. He couldn't help but be concerned for the kids swimming in the dark water, invisible but for the multi-colored glow-sticks around their necks and wrists, and the brief illuminations from the fireworks overhead. I was concerned as well, and envious. I remember how magical night swimming is, and it's been such a long time since I've participated. My concern came from the large flashes of lighting just a few minutes before. Luckily, the storm held off until later that night, when everyone was safely out of the water and back in their homes.
Days like yesterday, and many more these past few weeks, have brought a wonderful, sad feeling of nostalgia. I'm not sure what it is. We went to our first waterpark with the boys last weekend (and my first trip to a waterpark in 10 years). Even watching cartoons on these hot, summer mornings brings a flood of memories and feelings that I can't quite place. I find myself trying to keep this feeling up; watching and doing things from my childhood, even buying the same snacks (nothing says summer like those horrible Fruit Juice Barrels, made with no fruit juice). I think I know that everything is going to change again at the end of the summer. They're all good changes, the new baby arriving, Max going to preschool, Sam becoming a big brother; but right now, this summer, I like time travelling backwards. It's strange that since I've had children, each year I've grown older and further away from my youth, I've also been getting closer.