All of those tiny details that never really fade away. The slight squawk she made when she was born – no cry or shriek – just one squawk. She seemed quite happy to meet us, and instantly burrowed into our chests. First mine, and then Cassidy’s. He cut the cord, I’m pretty sure, but it wasn’t instant. There was time for me to get out of my natural high drug daze, while the doctor delivered the placenta and showed it to me – like science class – and I oohed and ahhed. Probably more at my own natural birthing abilities, than at the placenta. That was more whatever. There was nothing whatever about Scarlet Bella, who was born with a thick head of hair and a tall height too! That totally stopped. It’s ok, though. She makes up for it in spirit.
Scarlet is now 11. She’s an old soul but she’s still a kid kid. No smartphones or TikTok. She doesn’t even really like computers, or video games, or even TV shows. She does pick her poisons with movie nights and endless episodes of The Simpsons, but that’s different. It’s The Simpsons, after all, and nearly all of the adult jokes go over her head. That’s what I mean. She’s an old soul, who has understood what racism is from a young age and thinks it’s mighty stupid. She doesn’t believe in God, because of pandemics and children dying, but believes in Santa, magic doors, and letters from Hogwarts, or its US version, Ilvermorny, School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Her rocking me to the core. In our glider in our condo, which can just fade away in my musty memory banks – and it becomes a rickety rocking chair on a tired country porch – the sights and sounds of stars and tiny orchestras. All the new baby and new mama sights and sounds.
The second summer with a sticky toddler. It wasn’t a great summer for a number of reasons. It may have been one of the worst ever, because she had an accident and our old dog was super sick. She had such wild curls and at that point, they seemed to grow up instead of down. I still remember the smell of sweet toddler sweat. And no one has such sweet sweat than a toddler.
In the third summer together, we picked berries until we were sticky. She saw the house in Truro for the first time, and started a tradition of a July Cape Cod vacation every year. It was our last summer at the condo and we could sort of sense that time slipping away. We played in the garden nearly the whole summer, shrieking in the hose, picking flowers, and exploring more.
The fourth summer expected Des, but he actually came 12 days early and was a late spring baby. So many adjustments to meet her brother and then have him go to a NICU for a week, and then have him come home – truly in the summer. Summer nights and baby cries. She threw her shoe at his head once but she also sang him to sleep. The two of them are still like that, actually.
The fifth summer had magic. We went to Cape Cod twice, painted our shed to look like a TARDIS, and we built her that AMAZING Alice in Wonderland party. Cassidy did the first cardboard cut-outs, which would become a tradition, and I dressed like the Queen of Hearts.
Six summers. The sixth one was full of mini adventures, at Cape Cod, and at local zoos and parks. It was our first summer with a dog. It wasn’t an easy summer for me, because she was starting kindergarten and I was getting panicked, way beyond the normal kindergarten parent jitters. As usual, she was patient and healing with me. Not that she needed/need to be. It’s her way.
The seventh summer had more magical adventures, and we went to New Hampshire for my milestone birthday. I’m glad she retained all the beautiful memories we made that summer.
In the eighth beautiful summer, I spent some summer nights away from her on a work trip to New York City. I love that we reunited for beach nights, ice cream nights, and firefly nights.
A girl. A baby girl. Scarlet Bella. With the luckiest name ever, reminiscent of my grandmother, an homage to my father’s first name, my favorite color, my favorite bird, a favorite Tori Amos album, one of Cassidy’s favorite Dead songs, one of our dearly departed loved ones, and so much more.
In the 12th eternal summer, there was a pandemic, extreme political unrest, and so much uncertainty. You rose to the occasion, like you always do, and show kindness and resilience.
When you’re born in the summer, certain parts of you long for that eternal summer, as if you can remember rocking in the breeze nightly. Your safe space and place. And when you’re reborn in the summer, as a mother, you’re both rocked and rocking, in this eternal warm night dance.
I’m linking up with Finish The Sentence Friday (FTSF) for a new prompt. This week’s awesome topic is “Summer nights” (or warm nights)” You can link up with your post on the topic HERE.