July 4th, 2009
We wanted to enjoy the day with our almost two and half year old.
It was 105 degrees outside – one of the 66 “Days Over 100 Degrees” my third trimester experienced.
Activities abounded. Carnivals. Professional fireworks.
Nothing I dared do – the risk of overheating a guaranteed certainty.
My husband and I chatted. Weighed options. Finally came to a decision.
We’d stay home and buy our own fireworks to set off.
The day passed indoors, luxuriating in the hard working air conditioning.
The temperature read 104 as we braved the scalding sun and set up for an evening of fun.
Each of us donned our swim suits – the early evening heat far too intense to brave without the cool water upon our skin. I walked to our sprinkler system, turning the front yard portion to “on”.
Giggles of delight as my son explored the spray: jumping, running, or standing still.
I chased along beside him, no longer the lumbering 7 month pregnant whale, but a child again. I laughed with him. I danced in the spray.
Until some fire ants found my foot. No warning mound as they hitchhiked a ride, before coordinating their simultaneous attack*.
Fearing my son would also stumble upon their hidden location, we ended the sprinkler fun.
No towels needed, just some vinegar for my wounds and mosquito repellent sprayed all around as we moved to Phase II: fireworks.
My son hated anything loud. He disliked the sparklers (which he’d loved the year before). He cowered from jumping jacks. He tried to hide inside from firecrackers (we didn’t have any, but the older neighborhood kids loved them).
Roman candles delighted him– the ideal blend of pretty, but quiet. They were the only item purchased he truly enjoyed from his front row seat. Pack after pack shot from CG’s hands as my son pointed, clapped, and yelled “fireworks go up and go boom!” (the “boom” in this sentence referred to the explosive part, not the sound)
Time for “the big” ones. My son retreated to the guest bedroom overlooking the driveway with Grandma G. From the safety behind the thick window panes, he watched the colorful explosions. He cheered. He jumped on the bed like a monkey.
I sat outside, a child again, admiring the explosions of color. All along the street, groups of neighbors and their friends set off every firework imaginable.
I took it all in, until the hour chimed “bedtime” and we had to put our son to bed.
I waddled inside, still wet in my bathing suit, the damp material my air conditioning for the three hours spent outside. As I stepped into the chilly house, I looked at the temperature: 101.
Nothing quite like the hottest Texas summer on record during your third trimester.
I refused to let it steal memory making opportunities.
This memory cropped up last night as I tweeted about the record heat we’re supposed to have today: 98 degrees and we’re only in mid-April. I fear a repetition of 2009, complete with severe drought and watering restrictions. My friend Sara tweeted back “Time to break out the hose and sprinkler and run through it!” referring to the odd way I entertained myself as a child. Remembering this memory from two years ago reminded me my inner child still loves to come out and play, even if when I resemble a land walking whale.