Sean spent the morning practicing quarter flips and card tricks. "Pick a card, any card..." He's getting pretty good.
He's also getting pretty big. Not wide. Just big. Taller. Older. Funnier. Busier. Hungrier. We skipped tae kwon do tonight (there's no A/C there, and if last week was sweltering inside class this week would have been brutal) and decided on Tolli's instead of Clark's, since the diner side of Clark's wasn't going to be open past 4pm today. While at Tolli's, listening to Dean Martin and talking to the owners whom I've known since I was a kid, Sean managed to HOUSE five slices of pizza. It was a small pizza, so the slices weren't huge, but still. Five slices, crust and all. And an entire Foxon Park orange soda. That's a record. Even Nolan managed three slices and half a soda. Not bad for his tiny tummy (the kid is a skinny scamp who runs and leaps rather than walk or step). The kids must have been starving after a day at the beach.
The beach was fun. Sean was thrilled; we ran into his best girl/desk mate from school, and the two of them ran off and played in the low-tide pools for a long time. Noly hung by me, digging holes and finding shells and rocks. The sun was hot, the breeze was perfect. We ate popsicles. Just a great moment in time.
Later, after exhausted protests over going to bed instead of watching Pettitte pitch the rest of tonight's game (I'm molding their brains well!), they passed out, two hot and sweaty little munchkins sprawled across their beds.
It's quiet in the neighborhood tonight. No fireworks. Maybe everyone in the neighborhood finally ran out of them. I can't say I mind them, though. Most nights between Memorial Day and Labor Day see some kind of pyrotechnics action around here. But nothing was quite as sweet as the 4th. While sitting on the grass by the Seawall, watching fireworks light up the sky from Morris Cove to West Haven, Sean said,
"I wonder if people in heaven can see the fireworks?"
"I don't know, honey," I said, taken a little offguard. "I'd like to think so."
"Well, if people are in heaven, then they're really just always with us in our hearts, and up in the stars looking over us, right?"
"Right, sweetie." What a good heart this kid has. And then he threw me for a loop with his memory and his not-quite-in-first-grade-wisdom:
"Right, so...your dad is dead. But really it just means in he's always with you."
I looked at Sean. Fireworks popped and boomed around us. Sean remembered a conversation we had earlier this year. The conversation happened because Sean was, at the time, very distressed about not seeing his father more often than his father's self-imposed schedule "allowed". I had told Sean I understood how he felt, to which he wisely replied, "No you don't." And then I agreed. He was right, I don't know exactly how it feels to be the child of divorce. In fact, I never knew my dad at all. Without getting into details far beyond his maturity, I explained my own dad died a long time ago, and so I never really knew him. And Papa married my mom when I was 10 and raised me like his own. So, while it wasn't nearly the same, I did know how it felt to want to see my father when I couldn't. And I understood he was upset; and it's okay to be upset and mad. (Just. Don't. Stay. That. Way.)
This obviously shifted something for Sean. And so last week my little man of big compassion sat beside me on the Seawall lawn and smiled. "And so if your dad is always with you, then maybe he sees the fireworks, too."
Phew. I needed tissues.
But back the usual order of things: Earlier today, Sean and I had an argument over what qualified as "snack" food at the mid-morning snacktime. Skittles leftover from yesterday's trip to the movie is not acceptable (he disagreed); yogurt is. (Groans.)
"It's my life, and I'll do what I want," he said.
I stared at him, my mouth open. "Did you really just say that to me? You better rethink that kind of fresh talk, Sean Francis."
"Uh...nope. I'm just saying words from a song. It's my third favorite Animals song, remember?"
So, without further ado:
Yanks are winning. 4-0. Pettitte's pitched a beauty.
Happy Tuesday (night).