There are no pictures on this post. And I'm a picture person. I wonder if I can with words show how this night memory came. Because I want to lock it away and save it forever. I know that I'm living in the good old days. I know that I'll look back on 'that summer when Anna was only 10 and Abigail just 6' and have warm fuzzy feelings. Maybe over a cup of evening tea with Scott years and years from now. We'll remember.
It wasn't a night out of the ordinary. Dinner with lots of talking, too much getting up that drives me nuts. Cleaning up, the girls running upstairs to play castle while Scott and I finished up the kitchen.
An evening walk. It was a beautiful night, not at all hot. We walked far, telling Abigail that we were practicing for Disney World. The girls were steps behind us chatting like crazy in their pretend fairy world. They made up songs and told us not to listen. We were a few steps ahead talking about how to add a screened in porch to the back of our house one day. We do that... dream of the house projects that are so many years off that they'll probably never happen.
It was already too late and the girls hadn't even had bath yet. But it's summertime and our bedtimes have been getting later and later each night it seems. But the walk was worth it.
In for dessert. Daddy chocolate chip cookies we call them. (because he loves them so much) Bath time and jammies. Teeth and one last drink. Prayer time and then all tucked in. Anna was reading in her room and I do what I do every night after prayer time. I turn on Raffi and snuggle with Abigail on her bed as she quickly drifts off to sleep. Except not tonight.
I hear the bang of fireworks. That's normal around here in the summer. We often hear them here or there but they only last a minute or so. So as Abigail was almost asleep the fireworks got louder and louder. I thought, oh those must be the fireworks in Hartford since they didn't have them on the Fourth this year.
Abigail's eyes that were almost closed popped open and she said to me, "what's that?"
"Fireworks, sweetie, just go to sleep." But she couldn't. These were no backyard fireworks. These sounded like a big deal. So even though it's not like me (hours later than the school year bedtime) I said, "do you want to go see if we can see them?"
She was shocked and jumped right out of bed. We put up her shade but didn't see anything. So we tried my bedroom and could see that they were a big deal and peeking through the trees. Anna heard the commotion and joined us. Even Scott busily writing a paper for class in the kitchen ran upstairs to see what we were seeing.
"We should go out to the dive way so that we can see them better."
"No, we won't be able to see them from there. But we can in the field."
And that's when it felt magical to me. See we live right behind a middle school. And their soccer and baseball fields meet our backyard. It's cool really. Our backyard that a huge field attached to it. So right then Scott scooped up Abigail in her jammies, hair damp still from bath, and I grabbed Anna's hand. We ran for the field. We were afraid that they were almost over and that heading to the field we'd miss the last of them.
Through our back kitchen door, through the back yard, under the arbor and into the middle of the field. We stood there. In the dark, we stood there.
With our mouths open, girls in their jammies, we watched the most spectacular fireworks I can remember. It was a show just for us. In the pitch dark. I had my arm around Anna's shoulder and stood next to Scott who was holding Abigail.
It was a night memory. One without pictures. I'll just have to remember. The chill of the air, the way the shadow of Abigail in Scott's arms fit, the trees, and us, our little family of four in their field at night. A night memory. Seal it, lock it in my heart forever.
This is summer. This is our family. And as Anna said in the field tonight, "this was such a nice surprise from God."