with windows rolled down and the radio blaring, we sing our way over thirteen miles of backroads, past feed corn and soybeans and a ramshackle shed of pungent hogs, past mcintire’s stone mill and the schoolhouse church. the wind on our faces is hot and dusty and full of summer.
we pile out at the park and drench ourselves in cold, sweet water. the july sun is a sticky thing, and time moves slowly enough to make room for lunch under a red umbrella, for mountain climbing expeditions on the triple slide, for a twirl on the merry go round and digging shells in the creek bed.
then it’s home again for naps and books and laundry. after dinner we head to the school and the kids play ball tag while i wind five miles around the track. we watch a pair of hot air balloons in the field beside us assemble and take flight, then hang suspended mid-sky with nothing but fire and hope.
after nine-o-clock showers, the kids are in bed and i can barely keep my eyelids parted. and it occurs to me that times like these are a gift, days hot and full of enjoying the happy company of these children who call me mom.