They pause for a quick second, long enough only to choose a style and color of tractor then hop on with gusto and take off, looking back only to catch my smile. There I stand, left in the dust. I watch them pedal, their tiny legs pushing and pushing. I notice their facial expressions; two different souls yet with matching smiles.
We are in a field. Fresh off a real tractor, actually. The Littles run freely; the first spotting of fireflies popping in the thick uncut field nearby. Corn grows. Watermelon juice slips down tiny hands. Someone lit a smoke-bomb and the Littles now run and laugh so hard I think they may just fall down. I slip away, back to the field where I spotted something on the tractor ride I wanted to photograph, just me alone, closely. I crouch down in the thick grass, cussing the mosquitoes that are eating me alive. Adjusting my settings, I click and capture. I peek up to see my little ones in the distant meadow, clearly not missing me. Even though the mosquitoes are still trying to drain every last drop I stay to watch the fireflies now exploding in light all around me. The bursting of light makes me think of dreams and promises twirling around in the illuminated night sky.
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We are at a pond. My oldest little is fishing for the first time. My baby little is rolling the mesh tube full of bait crickets in his tiny, grubby fingers. The rickety dock is crowded the way the tube of crickets is, only with family – aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmas. There is laughter and a lightness that comes along with the simple act of pond fishing. A moment later I hear cheering and squealing and watch pure joy explode right before me, which is the moment when your child catches his first fish, and has his whole family there to bear witness. As dusk descends, we celebrate, and then retire to the house for the smallest, sweetest, plumpest wild blueberries made into a pie for the taking.
I am the keeper of our family’s stories. Like running freely, catching fireflies in a jar, so I catch the details of our life – the little details that I work like ingredients until they are all folded together into one ambrosial dish. I greet this task with passion, zest and gratitude for it is in the small things, the details, that the gift of life exsists.