I have this fantasy, where I’m about 40 and Sean, Leah, Alicia, (my fiance and two bestest lady friends) and I are sitting out back of one of our houses, on the porch. It’s summer and the sun is shining high and bright, with that extra yellow glow that layers over everything, making it serene and sweet. It’s hot but not too hot. You can see the heat rolling off the pavement in small waves but it’s like it never reaches us, we are cool, if not collected.
The kids are all playing together in the back yard. They’ve made mud puddles and are swiping streaks of mud across their faces like war paint. Then they pick up their spears (giants sticks with sharp points they filed down on the concrete, with raspberry juice to stain the ends like blood) and go to battle each other over tribal land, each claiming that the spirits are on their side.
We adults just laugh and tell them not to actually stab each other, while we sip on our sweet tea, basking in each other’s company and the glorious summer sun. The dogs lay by our feet, watching the children intently like concerned nannies. We are happy.