We were outside yesterday afternoon, my kidlets and I, doing what you do in one-hundred degree heat with two small children and no pool: you turn on the hose and let the fun begin.
Reese in her brown swimsuit with the polka dots and Finn in his tractor T-shirt and swimshorts cavorted in that sprinkler spray like they were in the tropics. Both of these children are water fiends, their idea of a good time letting the outside faucet run and filling watering cans and buckets to the brim, using the contents to water the yard, each other, and often their own heads. While it may not be the most conservationist move we've made, it is cheap and fun entertainment.
So with this added sprinkler feature, the happiness of simply filling buckets was replaced by the sheer joy of running through the spray; whole body immersion now possible. Finn stood straight in the outpour, being pelted by water pellets, his body vibrating with happiness, eyes closed, smile permanently fixed to that gorgous little face. A shayna punem, my grandmother would say, a beautiful face on this one.
Part of his absolute, knock-your-diaper-off delight was watching Reese running through the sprinkler like it was spraying chocolate. Her giggles bounced off every corner of the yard; more than just infectious, they remind you of every giggle you've ever had, the good ones that come in waves, where you just can't stop no matter how hard you try.
In the middle of all this, I am sitting on the steps, feet in the water, all mama-bear; keeping an eye out for hoses that might trip or bugs that might sting or anything else that might ruin the fun. I spy Reese whispering something to Finn. He is listening intently. She whispers again.
"What are you whispering about, Reese," I ask, not ready to be left out of the fun.
"I'm telling Finnie a secret and I'll tell you too, Mama."
She runs over to me, feet splashing through the water, her wet hand cupping her mouth close to my ear.
"I told Finnie he can come to my birthday party and you can too."
She squeals, pulling back from me, water droplets like crystals in her hair. She searches my face for understanding. Do I get that this is the highest praise, the "I LOVE YOU" in skywriting, the bouquet of roses at my feet?
I do. I am not trying to do anything else right then. I am not trying to make dinner or change a diaper or talk on the phone. I am right here and I see what she is offering and I take it, her damp swimsuit pressed up against me, arms around my neck. I let her hold on tight, until she's ready to let go.