Laughter is spilling over, refusing to be contained by the boundaries of this large back yard. Two grills have been at work with hotdogs, brats, and cheeseburgers. Potluck dishes of every variety are inside. And there is one very happy little boy who has just presided over the blowing-out-of-candles of his birthday cake; he believes these festivities are all for him, and who would tell him otherwise?
My youngest sister has left for the hospital to be with Mom tonight. She assures me that she has been to years' worth of these festivities, while I haven't been to one since the late 1980's. She'll turn on the Boston Pops for Mom if she's awake, and they'll watch the fireworks on television.
Mom was very alert this morning. She can do thumbs up now. She had nine visitors, so she definitely needed that energy; she slept all afternoon once everyone had left, but she looked happy.
I hear we're leaving for the fireworks now.
* * *
Childhood flashbacks tonight. Lying on the grass, surrounded by family and lots of little ones, watching fireworks, oohing and aahing in concert. Not a beach, not Frankfort Harbor, but a community gathering with the same spirit. Sitting by an outdoor fire afterwards - maybe not on Lake Michigan, but a similar time together with family around the new back yard fire pit.
And a yard full of fireflies.
I haven't seen that many fireflies for years. Lightning bugs, we used to call them. Beautifully, quietly blinking as they glide near the grass or further up near tree branches.
It's the simple things.
Next year, I want to share this with Mom.