Sunday, August 19, 2012

Summer Nights

For some people, a simple singular image can trigger a flashback of childhood memories. A lightning bug might conjure up images of dismembering innocent fireflies to make kick-ass glow-in-the-dark rings. A bag of marshmallows in the grocery store might take you back to that smoky campfire where you first discovered smorgasbords and ghost stories. For me, it was ice cream, water pistols and hanging out with the neighborhood kids.

Growing up, we did not live within walking distance of an ice-cream parlor. No, back in my day, we had to hike barefoot for three days over mountains of broken glass to get an ice-cream. And we liked it that way!

We now live about a minute and half running distance from an authentic Italian parlor that we frequent quite...,well, frequently. Peter and David have apparently outgrown the thrill of going out for frozen cow juice, but check out Tommy! He was tickled 31 shades of pink because he had finally mustered up enough courage to venture away from his standard 'Vanilla in a cup' and explore the exotic yumminess of 'Mango in a cone'. Yes, he was visibly proud. So was I. And yes, Lauri was visibly glaring at Tommy's choice with a stare that I like to call 'frozen regret'.

Today was the hottest day so far this summer, so ice-cream just wasn't cool enough. It never is. To cool things off, we led the troops into battle. Cool!

I love this picture and it totally reminds me of my military days. The soldiers had self-organized and formed a united front as they reloaded. Peter and Sebastian were locked, loaded and ready for action. Private David was jack-assing his way into a watery grave. Lauri was struggling to even lift his cannon and Tommy was worriedly screeching words of encouragement to him when the first shot was fired.

That's right. Major Sami ambushed the Band of Brothers with unfriendly fire, which triggered a firefight that raised serious questions of trust and friendship in all directions.

As a clearly identified war photographer, I was rather surprised to get a lens full of liquid bullets and quickly retreated to the picnic table to continue laughing at the cut-throat free-for-all that had erupted in our garden.

As I sat there listening to the not-so-innocent thrills and shrills of youth, my back flashed to the time when Christine and I played with the neighborhood kids until the sun went home. Instead of a curfew, we had common sense. When common sense failed, we had Mom.

As dusk took over the garden, the boys argued that they should be allowed to play longer. Their lips were shivering and turning blue, so common sense told me to kick the hyperthermics into a warm bed. When my silly attempts at common sense failed, Sergeant Angie stepped in to vocally march the troops to their racks for lights out.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: Was that we did a water fight.
David: That we did a water fight on the garden.
Tom: That I could play computer.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: That David is not being really nice - he is putting his fingers in my eyes and tissues that he already did in his nose into my eyes and I don't like that.
David: That I can't cuddle with Mama and that Nicole is not here.
Tom: That Peter and David laughed at me why I scratched my back.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: I want to play with Sebastian and Arman a water fight like today.
David: I want to play computer a little bit.
Tom: Play computer.

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