one for summer

Monday, June 23

Summer is a pirate hat. Or rather, a colonial hat picked up in historic Williamsburg that chooses to be a pirate hat on most days of the week. It sits a top a boy's head as he runs wild or sits and stacks checkers, its dark color beckoning the sun to beat down a little harder and hotter on his head, but that boy doesn't care. HE is a pirate. A pirate with a hook hand that says argh matey! during the day. And a pirate in ninja turtle pajamas at night, who sits down next to his mama painting her toes and requests that his toes be painted too. "Blue", he says "like superman". And it becomes him. This hat that has transformed him into a pirate ninja turtle superman. A very versatile hat indeed.

Summer is a drive-in movie theater. With chicken salad on croissants and fresh cherries and jalapeno chips and an icy lemony drink. With friends in the back of a pick-up truck. And watermelon, with its juice dripping down little chins.

Summer is a magic show. A magic show that is SO magical, that for a moment, it draws this little boy to leave his spot on my lap and join the other children a few feet ahead of us on the grass. SO magical that when the magician asks, who here believes in magic? his hand shoots high into the air, fingers straining to be seen, his voice joining the chorus of others shouting, "MEEEEE!!!" He believes in magic. He's never heard of magic before, but there's the promise of bunnies coming out of a hat of all things, which is something he knows he believes in. And with the unveiling of that bunny from that magic hat, he returns to his spot on my lap. He pulls my face down to his so he can make his whispered request. "Mama. Touch it."

Summer is bare, dirty-bottomed feet.

Summer is band-aids

Summer is a swollen belly, with feet propped up on a stack of pillows under the icy hum of the air conditioner.

Summer is a family walk to the park past bedtime, playing until it's too dark, and a warm walk home, admiring the garden lights still lit up around us, the chirp of crickets, and the canal water quietly dribbling under the bridge in the dark.


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