I had grand plans of posting about our trip to a you-pick blueberry farm this evening.
And then tonight happened.
But nothing really happened tonight.
I was in the kitchen prepping dinner semi-early, and Meiling and Noah were outside. They had two Frisbees that they had gotten at the County Fair last night (we worked there yesterday). They were the kind with the big hole in the middle – just large plastic rings. They weren’t throwing them at each other, they were using them to…um…do things. Like the put a long stick thing through both, then one carried one Frisbee and the other carried the other. They hung things from them, dropped things through them, carried things with them. And they showed us many of the poses.
Mom and Dad were behind me, just chatting, discussing (among other things) plans for tonight. There weren’t a whole lot.
Once I had gotten dinner pretty much ready, I headed out the door to go pick up Drake from work. On my way, I stopped at Sonic to get a medium cherry limeade, since Mom had a token for a free one, and she told me I could use. So I got it. A whole medium! It made me feel so grown up. A soda AND driving. If myself 4 years ago could have seen me then, she would have asked who that person was, because there was no way that could have been her.
Earlier today I ran something over to a friend’s home. After I had gotten over halfway there, I realized I had forgotten what I was supposed to take to them. So I had to go home. And it made my trip that much longer. But I actually kind of liked it. It was one of those beautiful days, not too warm, clear blue sky, just a few white, semi-wispy clouds, and all the colors oh-so-vibrant. And there is just something wonderful about flying down a country highway, windows down, radio playing, hair flying. It almost made me half glad that nobody was home when I got there, so I just had to leave my things there. No one needed to see THAT crazy hair.
That feeling carried over to my trip to get Drake, and the soda. It was so beautiful. After I grabbed Drake, we chatted on the way home. He said that, since it was Friday, everyone there was joking, and having more fun. It just added to my feeling of a relaxed, happy Friday.
When we got home, Mom and I were outside, when I heard some music. And it sounded like it was getting closer. Dad appeared around the corner holding the speaker from inside, music blaring, with Meiling and Noah behind him, bearing Frisbees. We all started throwing the Frisbees back and forth, to the happy music.
And then Mom lit the burn pile, and the smoke outlined the sunbeams that were straining through the trees. I ran inside to get my camera.
I took a few shots of the smoke, and then laid down in the grass, and took a few self-portraits. They are among my favorites. Not because they are amazing. Because they capture the moment.
It wasn’t anything that we did, or really anything we did. It was the feeling, the mood, that prevailed, that is what made it memorable. The relaxedness. The laid-backness. The love. The feeling of family. The whatever goes feeling.
We have been running almost nonstop for the past two weeks. And I have been feeling pressured to do more school, and to be more busy (if that makes sense).
But the other day, Meiling and I were home alone. And we were sitting on the floor in the family room, making friendship bracelets. After that, we were going to read “Little House on the Prairie,” which we call Laura.
While we were sitting there, I kept feeling like I should go do something productive. School. Prep for our trip. Oh, I am sure that my room could have used a cleaning.
But I really just wanted to stay there.
And then it kind of hit me. It’s summer. I don’t ALWAYS have to be working, busy. And this was one of those times that I was going to remember for a long time, if not forever. And I don’t want to squish that, brush it out of the way, with “what-I-really-should-be-doing.” School. Cleaning. All great things.
But in the end, what do they mean? What do they count for?
Meanwhile, I have a little sister who won’t be seven forever. And what do I want her to remember about me in 10-15 years? The older sister who was always closeted up with her books, saying, “SHH! Please shut the door when you leave!” or as the sister who took time to read, to make friendship bracelets, bake fun things, do projects.
Oftentimes, Drake, Noah, and I talk about all the things that we used to play. The forts. The games. Like pretending that we were orphans (our parents had been killed by monsters – more specifically, their bites, I think), and we had to move from room to room, being orphans with no home now. (Side note: we actually didn’t remember this one, but I found it in an old journal, and it TOTALLY sounds like something we would have played.)
And Meiling doesn’t have any of those memories.
Now we’re doing school, driving, going to work, running errands, cooking, programming, building, and other what-not, while Meiling is being her little self, at the same age when we were playing in cardboard boxes, cooking pretend food, and taping paper facial hair on one another (I don’t think I ever wore any of that). And she doesn’t have any memory of that.
So I want to be the sister that takes time for her. If not to play in cardboard boxes and make paper facial hair, but to at least take time out for her. Read to her. Participate in her make-believes. And give her some of the memories that we have.
And tonight was one of those nights, in a way.
Just a random, fun memory. Not perfect, but wonderful in spite of the imperfection, maybe because of it. Or maybe because it seemed so great.
That was today.