I had made the plan to go out mid-afternoon so I could escape the confines of the house and the humidity outside. Errands in the air conditioned car and perhaps an iced latte splurge sounded phenomenal.
My kids were outside. They had gone out early while dew still covered the grass. Even in the early morning hours the sun was hot. All their faces red, beads of sweat on their brows. They looked so uncomfortable. They hadn't stopped running all over the yard.
This... is summer. The sun shining hot, tilting the plants towards its overreaching arms, heating up the deck making it hard to walk on. Tomatoes ripening in the garden. Algae covering the pond.
The pool that we used so much last year still sat untouched in the garage. More than once I'd thought to myself that we might not take it out at all this year. We've had unseasonably cold weather interspersed with rain. We've had days that have taken us elsewhere. The pool had subsequently never made it outside.
I stepped out onto the deck. The air and sun hit me in a wave of heat. Suddenly, memories of swimming in my own pool, laying outside in the sun, spending all day in my swimming suit - they came tumbling back to me. Summer memories aren't made of errands and lattes in an air conditioned car - at least not for a kid.
The pool was in the blue bin on the shelf in the garage. I got it out, filled it with air, lugged it to the back yard, and turned on the hose.
Their faces were enough to tell me that this was the right choice.
My little girls in their tu-tu bathing suits. My boys with their two friends shouting back and forth sprinting through the yard. As I filled the pool I sporadically turned around spraying them with the water each in turn. Their faces were pure joy as they taunted me.
I sat there after the pool had been filled. They splashed and laughed. They squealed at the cold water and boasted that they were already used to the temperature.
I watched as one game turned into another... and another. They slapped water at each other, full of mirth as their splashes landed on their siblings and friends. They filled their noodles full of water and shouted "Bombs away!" as they blew water at one another. Then, they ran around the parameter of the house, jumping into the pool - noses held between thumb and knuckle against the rush of water as they plummeted into the pool again and again.
The sun sinks lower and the shadow of the house creeps steadily over the deck as I sit here listening and watching. I hope I remember crickets in the background chirping in their constant chorus, planes overhead destinations unknown. I want to remember the warm summer breeze blowing the green grass and plastic popsicle sleeves strewn across the yard. I hope I won't forget the cattails around the pond bent in the wind and the Queen Anne's Lace on the outskirts of the yard.
Most of all I want to remember these summer kids running and laughing, their skin brown from the kiss of the sun. I want to remember their smiles and their joy in the simple days spent at home.
Moments like these - they aren't forever. May I always remember these precious summer days.