A storm is rolling in. Outside, the sound of metal clinking together. Long ago used smooth spoons come to mind strung from the branches of old growth trees, only it is more likely that it's just a piece of scrappy metal clanking on the roof. Inside, I watch as he pays me no mind eating a hotdog, crumbs and ketchup and mustard collecting in the corners of his mouth. He swipes his tongue to the tiny arrow where the corners of his lips meet and licks the crumbs back in, like a lazy lizard casually snatching a fly; more sport, less hunger.
Earlier today we were at the pool. He had just finished up his swim lesson and was sprawled out on a lounge chair in the sun. I marvel at how tall he is getting; how young boy-ish and less like my little dude he seems. His arm is decorated with his most recent Rainbow Loom creation. He made it over the weekend, telling "Susan" to slow down, as if the demo video was made just for him, as if they were having a real moment. His pal was over, looming with him, and they handsomely commented on her pretty blue fingernail polish. As if.
It is only the first week of summer vacation and we have found our pace. Going to the pool, hours and hours of time available at home for creating. They build lego towns and I tinker in my garden. The delphinium bloomed this morning. Strawberries dangle and spread out, mingling with sweet mint. Baby bunnies try to be so still but I see their twitching ears and I do not turn the hose towards them, even though they will probably eat my berries. I pick fresh herbs and mash them up with olive oil, a base for tonight's barbecue chicken. In my freezer, just made espresso chip ice cream waits for dusk and sugar cones. At the store I paid twelve dollars for sweet cherries and we ate them on the front porch in less than ten minutes. I shush the cost out of my mind and focus instead on the bright red juice staining my boys' mouths and shirts and fingers. Slow and low, childhood.
Earlier this spring I read off a few camp descriptions and they were flat with interest. We just want to stay home, Mom.
Just about an hour ago we fell into my bed, the three of us and the cat, and read chapter one of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. We will read together like this all summer long, chapter book after chapter book that I have collected over the last handful of months on quiet mornings by myself, or sometimes with a friend, at my favorite local bookstore to savor on summer afternoons and to add to our home library.
These are slow things. The stuff summer days are made of, and this is our camp. When I have them here with me like this, even though sometimes the days feel unimaginably long, they have a way of doing these little slow and low things, and my heartbeat literally lightens. Breath comes in and goes out, a rhythm, a blessing.