Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy Birthday, America

I'm enjoying the company of dear, dear friends so I'm posting one of my old favorites from last summer. Happy Fourth of July!

Hubby, the kids and I are vacationing at my in-laws lake house. We're here with my mother- and father-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law and their three children. We've entered summer nirvana--pure summer bliss. On the Fourth, we journeyed on the boat to the most spectacular fireworks display I've ever seen.

Through the heavy summer twilight, the kids traipsed onto the dock and climbed into still-wet life jackets. We all piled into Poppy's boat. The clouds and the rain, which had hovered for the last 48 hours, parted. A hot pink and royal blue sunset emerged. Captain Poppy allowed each of the grandkids a turn at the helm as we traveled through the night, scouting the most perfect firework-watching perch.

We found our spot and anchored the boat. Waves kindly lapped the sides. The fireworks began, exploding overhead in a spectacular national birthday celebration. A perfectly orchestrated show ensued, brilliant reds, vibrant blues and gorgeous golds. After Abby patriotically whooped it up with her cousins in the bow of the boat, she sought me out and climbed into my lap. We had a primo spot which allowed us to practically recline into the night. She rested her freshly bathed head next to mine. Her body still. At times we discussed our favorite fireworks but mostly we lay hypnotized by the display and the rhythmic dance of the boat. To date, it is one of my favorite moments with my daughter.

The show ended. Abby left my arms and reolocated to Hubby's lap, drifting to sleep with his strong arms wrapped around her. Henry took advantage of the vacancy at my lap and dove into my arms. He curled up and promptly slept. As we navigated the nautical traffic back to the lake house, I was once again lulled by the scent of a sweet child's head and the heavy weight of a small, solid body. I whispered my love to Abby and Henry in their dreams. The lake whispered, too, and wished everyone a good night's slumber.

Good night, Abby. Good night, Henry.

Good night, lake.

Good night, America.

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