Father's Day

I was a neglectful s*** this year and didn’t get Father’s Day cards out to my dad, or my step-dad.  They both deserve at least a card.  I called and left Facebook messages, but I’ll feel guilty for at least a month about the lack of cards.  I wasn’t even lazy, just didn’t make time for it.

It sounds like an excuse, but this is someone who gets 4-5 hours of sleep a night and then even during waking hours can’t regularly bathe.  If something needs doing, time needs to be carved out of the rigid stone of already occurring activities.

We went out to dinner with Nick’s family, for Japanese of course.  And then we just managed the day, driving, keeping kids alive, tidying house.  I watched the boys fill buckets with cool water in the little pool, play in the dirt, investigate the yard for bugs.  June ate spinach from a pouch in the yard.  The evening turned cooler (a welcome relief right now) and we sat out front and lit ‘snakes’ from the dollar store.  The boys said they were like scary ‘arms’ growing and reaching out.

We had a bonfire last night and the kids (mostly strangers to each other at the beginning of the night) spent an hour catching fireflies in the dark.  The tore around the yard in a loose group, directing one another in technique and style, until they had a jarful.  After, they sat in a circle on the trampoline and had a ceremony to release them back into the night.  They took turns offering a word about the fireflies, their glowing, the meaning of it, a little something they had learned about the creature.

Cleaning house today I found the open jar in a pile of clutter.  One little firefly was still in the bottom.  The poor little guy was still kicking.  He was obviously wounded from some marshmallow-pumped 7-year-old’s exuberant capture, not alive enough to fly away upon release, but not squashed enough to rest in peace.

The hardest decision I had to make today was whether or not to kill this damn bug.  His sacrifice was admirable.  Every parent out there knew that screeching pack of hyenas were probably accidentally killing fireflies by the dozens, but their joy and innocence was too great; how could we stop them?  Yet here was a victim, staring me in the face.  Did I have to put him out of his misery?

Hell no, I decided.  I’m not a damn bug doctor.  He looked ok. Maybe he was just lazy.  Maybe he had gotten into one of the many open containers of alcohol and was just then waking up with a horrible hangover, twitching back to life, wishing his little butt-glowing companion would bring him some coffee.

I dumped him in my favorite flowering plant out front and wished him well.  I’d just watered it and the day was warm and humid and pleasant.  If little dude cashed in his chips today, at least his final moments were not in a mason jar on my dishwasher.



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