On a Friday, before the sky fades into a milky shade of gray, the neighborhood kids play tackle football in the side yard while the Man builds a bonfire in the backyard. The girls line the driveway, the grooves of the path marking the lines for their cheering squad, and cheer like it’s their job.
Dust flies as the kids hit the ground. The girls cheer louder and louder and the boys get closer and closer to the flowerbeds. I wince with each tackle.
“Not the flowers, y’all!” I yell. “Seriously, anywhere but the flowers.”
They pause long enough to roll like tumbleweeds onto a patch of clover and I sigh as I look at the trampled bed. Another purple aster has been plucked from the ground and tossed aside like a weed.
I watch them from the porch and snap pictures in my mind and I think the whole filthy lot of them is glorious.
“You guys all staying for hot dogs and marshmallows later?” I call to them. “Thad is building a fire and there will be plenty if you want to stay for dinner.”
They all answer from their places in the yard and I take a mental head count as smoke billows up from behind the fence in the backyard.
And as I rise to prepare the food, I find myself grinning at how wonderful this life really is.