Today I spent several quality hours with my little girl at the ER in Wareham, MA. A nasty belly button infection needed seeing to and turned out to be (surprise) probably Lyme, her fourth bout with this endemic plague in as many years. Except for a hot and ouchy middle she was such a chipper little trooper, full of stories and talking with everyone she met as if they had been old friends rather than strangers in the doctor's office. Her knees were all banged up from barnacle scrapes in a wavy ocean and she didn't mind a bit. We made up stories about women pirates - she knows all about the historic ones - and now Emily is medicated and hopefully on the mend.
Tonight as I tucked them into the tent out in the evening wind before the big house full of our vast and gathering clan, we heard what I first took for thunder but then realized was the fireworks display across the bay. Out of the tent we tumbled and off to the bluff, where my son climbed into my arms in his thin pajamas and I tried to block the wind while kicking myself for neglecting to fetch along his sweater. I think of them as hardier than they are, even though Elias shrugged off a bee sting on his cheek yesterday. So we walked back into the shelter of some ceders and watched the rockets red glare with fireflies hiding from the wind in the grass and under the trees. We stooped and cupped one in our hands, careful to give it room to breathe and glow. "I love you, Dad" he said, and I held him close and lost my heart all over again.