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Summer Reading

The car thermometer reads 84 degrees at a bright and sunny pickup.

Daddy violates the rules by bringing two little green bowls filled cashews, not just in the car, but onto the grounds. Papa doesn’t want to clean nut scraps from the creases in the back seat of the new car, so the whole flight attendant thing is kaput. They settle on a cement wall for their snack. Daddy finds a bush to throw the nuts in on short notice should a teacher wander by before sitting down with them.

D (brushing the hair back from her face): Cory, you’ve got a flush on.
C (popping a cashew in her mouth): What does that mean?
D: It means you look red. Flushed. Like you’ve been running. Have you been running?
C: Yes.
D: Did you have soccer today?
F: Yes, we did.
D: Did you have sunblock on?
C: No.
D: What! Cory, you have to have sunblock on before you play in the sun. Every time. You don’t have a flush on. You’ve got a little sunburn. Listen, you have to put sunblock on before you play in the sun, Cory, especially in the middle of the day.
C: Okay.
D: It’s important. The sun could burn you.

At home, Daddy and Cory sweat through some bounce-count as Fisher zooms up and down the street on his bike, chattering about the little pots with kale plants that some earth-crunchy organics organization left on each house’s doorsteps. He wants to collect them all and put the kale in one of Papa’s shakes. Daddy dissuades him from the project while working some balls toward Cory’s backhand.

After a tantrum, a timeout, and the rest of dinner, everyone settles on the backyard trampoline for some summertime bedtime reading. It’s still light. And warm.

C (heading in to draw their pictures about the chapter): You know, Daddy, I didn’t wear sunblock for that book.
D: What, Cory?
C: Mr. Sun was shining down, and I didn’t have sunblock on.
D (smiling): Oh, good point. When it’s this late in the day, it’s probably okay, but you’re right.
C: But, you said that I need to put sunblock on every time.
D: You are right. We should put some on every morning to make sure that you at least have some.
C (not looking thrilled to be right): But…
D: Yep, every morning, we are going to slather some on, at least on your nose and cheeks where your freckles live. Right after you brush your teeth.
C: Do we have to?
D: Yes. It’s another thing to add to the morning list…
C: Okay.
D: I’m so glad you brought that up. I’m so glad you made that point.

That makes one of us. She looks a little miffed as they settle at their art table to draw. They chatter about drawing the picture of Rick stealing “that man’s candy knocker” from the Land of Goodies, while Daddy stares outside at the fading light.

Daylight Savings rocks, haters.

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