It was warm. 92 degrees. The first day of their April vacation. It had been a long day, rushing in the morning, throwing in a stinky load of weekend laundry, waking them up, dropping the kids off at my sister’s, running to school, sitting through lectures, advisor meetings, getting groceries, running to the post office, picking kids up, heading home. There was a list in my head that had no check marks on it. Things that really needed to be done. But there was a little voice saying, “Slow down.” I almost didn’t listen. Didn’t want to listen. But it was warm. 92 degrees.
The trees were green and sweet-smelling, like spring had ushered in a small secret arrival in a quiet spot in the woods. The moss was soft and the ferns green. So green.
They laughed. They splashed and climbed and got scrapes and slivers, little sunburned noses and dirty feet. They jumped and ran and made a mother feel thankful, and a little ashamed for not wanting to go.
And then it was time to leave. Connor whispered to Nora, “I don’t want to go.”
And I thought, “Me, neither.”