We rise early and squeeze ourselves into a day packed for adventures: play dates in the backyard painting rocks, a turkey lunch on the patio, hunting for fresh mint at the farmer’s market, swimming late into the afternoon. It is humid; the perfect weather for memory keeping. Everything sticks.
We pause often to search for worms. Woims, she says. “Worms,” I might correct.
“That’s what I said, Mom. Woims.”
I have stopped correcting. Woims and flamingo (mango) smoothies and “I got locked (stuck) on this one.” They are fleeting mispronunciations. Soon, she will learn and we won’t have woims anymore.
One weekend, we visit my cousin’s campgrounds and are reminded of nature’s bliss. We are tied to the grass, pulled into the sun, wrapped by the breeze. It is intoxicating, this wild expanse of field and bird and tree. We sleep hard in a hot cabin, we wake to a breakfast of eggs.
I am tempted to catch these moments and store them in a mason jar on my nightstand, to look at them over and over, flitting with joy and buzzing with memory. And then I am tempted to recreate them, to try to mold my life into the one in the jar.
It does not fit. Our summer days are long and short in the way only temporary can be.
The magic has already been lost. It is lost every day, but with new magic gained its place. Innocence is transformed by perspective in tiny shifts, early summer into mid summer, mid summer into late summer, late summer, soon, into fall.
The sun looks more orange than it did a few weeks ago, and I know it is passing. For now, I will save it all in a jar on my nightstand, with tiny holes poked into the metal lid so the light can get in, so it can breathe, so it can grow.
p.s. Funny question in the back of the minivan this morning, for posterity, so I do not forget: “Mom? Did Jesus die because he stuck his finger in the outlet?”