The warmth of the sun, heat radiating off your skin while ice cream melts and runs little rivulets down your arm. Babies napping in nothing but diapers. All more than worth it when the letter informing us about our son’s first grade teacher assignment arrived in the mail – and summer suddenly seemed even more precious of a commodity.
Because that’s how you reach the finish line.
Blowing out candles on a cake…fulfilling the “dream dinner” wish of a grilled cheese sandwich, potato chips, and onion dip…delighted smiles and barely-contained excitement.
The knowing smirk whenever the phone rang that another grandparent was on the line, wanting to wish him a Happy Birthday.
The living reminder of how to embrace and celebrate the blessings of another year here on this Earth.
It’s a day to remember how fragile, how vulnerable life is.
How so many use laughter to mask deep, soul-searing pain.
And how, despite the fiercest of battles, some will fall victim to those demons, surrendering to the pain because they don’t believe there’s any other way out.
There is another way. There are so many people who care and will drop everything to show how.
My own heart beats, in spite of my own demons. Thank goodness.
Even though the time away was filled with plenty to make us forget about home, there’s nothing sweeter than returning to it.
I’d need all of my fingers and half my toes to count the years since our wedding day.
Yet it still catches me by surprise that our flower girl is all grown up and getting ready to celebrate her own wedding.
Watching her start her married journey will be poignant, no doubt, but also a reminder of all the optimism, love, and above all sense of humor that starts any marriage off on the right note.
It felt perfectly natural to be outside tonight.
No need for bug spray.
No need for extra layers of clothing.
No excessive heat or humidity.
Just a nice night to watch kids play, water the flowers, and pause to watch the few clouds in the sky dance with the wind.
(Anyone who was around here this past winter will understand.)