Summer Nights and Long Walks

11pm and we’re settling down, Liam long asleep, and the fireflies dancing in the yard.

Summer is here and we have found our swing. It’s the constant balance of rest and rushing, where we finally collapse after the sunset. The full moon shines through the window.

There is peace. There is a calm. And it feels so right to settle into this groove.

This past week we went to the Monona carnival and fireworks show on the 4th of July. Riding our bikes there and back, it was five miles. Liam’s getting to know the streets, learning when to turn and where to avoid the big hills.

We love this neighborhood – where the houses are all different, the trees are big and shade the streets, and people are always out gardening, walking dogs, or saying hello to each other. It’s so close to Lake Monona and all the restaurants and shops we love.

This carnival was fun as always, and I love to trace these memories of every year we’ve been there through the cheap prizes you can win, cotton candy and hot dogs sold, and the hum of the old kiddie roller coaster.

Thankfully, Chad goes on the rides with Liam that I cannot handle. He’s a trooper.

This was I’d be game for, but who are we kidding: it’s 3 tickets to ride it and we don’t need to spend $9 for all of us to go on it every year.

Besides, who would take the pictures?

We rode home and headed to our friends Chris and Angies’s house for a barbeque. They just bought their first home on the west side of town and it’s gorgeous. The back yard is like a wooded campsite – big and full of native plants, hops, and now their baby chickens.

We headed back to the Monona area later that night. This time we walked, blankets and chairs in tow.

We got there just in time.

I’ve never been one for fireworks, but this place is special. Lay on your back in the grass, lagoon next to you, baseball field nearby, fireflies all around, and it’s like you’re in a dream. The fireworks shoot off and fall, so close to you that it feels like it’s raining lights. The ground rumbles. Ooohing and aaaahing like my Mom did, and we reach over to each other during our favorite ones, drawing attention to the pops in the sky.

We walked home, regretting our flip flop shoe choices, but talking and laughing about who would be the last one, the rotten egg, in the house.

Between biking and walking, Liam went ten miles that day, and I am so proud. He’s so strong in spirit and in heart.

He’s an adventurer, and he’s my boy. And I am so proud of the memories we call our own, the streets we know, and the blisters we earn in our flip flops.

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