Sunday, May 18, 2008


It was unseasonably warm - hot, really - and the kids ran through the sprinkler, smeared with sunblock and laughing over the sound of the running water. The dog chased a tennis ball, occasionally running through the path of the sprinkler just in time to avoid being doused himself.

The screen door slammed, and my son burst into the kitchen, asking for a peanut butter sandwich.

"Supper will be ready soon," I said mildly, slicing zucchini and yellow squash on the wooden cutting board.

"But I'm hungry," he protested. I gestured to the table, indicating the snack mix sitting there, and told him he could help himself. I handed him flatware from the kitchen drawer, asking him to place the forks and knives by the plates I'd already set on the table.

Munching snack mix, he agreeably did as he was asked.

Mustard, ketchup, sliced pickles...corn waiting to be heated...zucchini and yellow squash sauteeing in a pan with some olive oil.

The smell of hamburgers wafted into the kitchen as my husband slid open the screen door and stepped into the house carrying a half-empty glass of Summer Shandy.

"Will supper be ready soon?" my son asked.

"Yes, in just a few minutes," I told him.

"Then I think I'll go swing." He fixed me with a grin and ran back outside, again pulling the screen door shut with a clatter. I walked to the door and looked out, watching him pump his legs to sail higher and higher, the grass a rich green beneath his feet and the sky bright, cloudless blue behind him. His toes seemed to reach to the tops of the ash and oak trees, and then he stopped, jumping from his perch to run inside just as his daddy slid the last of the burgers onto a plate.