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Friday, September 06, 2013

Fraternizing Friday's What is your Most Prized Possession? Simple. My Memories: Fireflies and Pattering of little Feet.

I usually start my day looking at my email and always head straight to my Everyday Poems daily mail from Tweetspeak Poetry.  

At the bottom of the daily poem was a link to Artist Date: Clover by Laura Boggess of Wellspring. Anything I've read by Laura has been an educationally inspired read on creating imagery and other forms of good writing. 

So, off I went, sinking into this piece which illustrated, "How to Become a Better Writer".

The writing was gorgeous. The description of the fireflies made me stop... 
"I spy a wink to my right and reach out a hand to cup the warm glow. But this winged luminescence escapes, disappearing into the thick dark. Only now, my eyes are open wide and I see each bush on fire with twinkling conversation. I stand in wonder, lingering."

“But this winged luminescence escapes, disappearing into the thick dark.”
This last line, reached into my soul. Memories of my little ones catching and accidentally releasing these dynamic beings at our Georgia home floated to the surface of my mind.


My children are all 3 years apart. 

When Devin was 7, Kyler was 4 and Mckenna was 1 years old, we lived in Sharpsburg, Georgia, on a sprawling piece of land surrounded by our Landlord's home. On the other side of us was their ancestral "family" home. 
Mr. Landlord's childhood home and his brothers' homes were located on the other side of his side yard. The entire property consisted of 500 acres of fields and woods. Perfect for children to learn to work, explore, and dream.

We had a plot of garden. We ambitiously planted varieties of what we hoped to be delicious food for our little family. We decided we loved corn the most; so we tilled four rows producing dozens of stalks of corn per row. Then we tilled two rows of Green beans, Peas, Zucchini and Carrots, finishing up our plot with four Potato mounds (red and white,) and two Pumpkin mounds. 

Weeks went by. We watched the tiny seeds grow into delicate plants.

Each child had a row that they were responsible for watering. This was either done with the hose or in the corn's case with a large bucket since the hose couldn't reach that far back in the yard. (did I mention that the back yard was a half acre? Yeah, it was big!)

Devin, being the eldest, was responsible for the corn. Kyler, who loved corn the most, reminded Devin when it needed to be watered. In his little mind, he knew he wouldn't have the sweet, pale yellow kernels if his brother failed at his job and so he nagged Devin endlessly. 

We would take the kids out at dusk to tend our ambitious garden. This was magic hour; wildlife noises, the sweetness of the cooling air and the laughter that came from working together was the diamond in our lives. 

Mckenna, with her tiny french braid, would help for a quick minute and then wander off to play in her Little Tyke car driving her well-loved Lambie around in circles on the soft grass. Her little painted piggies pushing the car along. She was always decked out in a new dress that she picked out each morning from her closet. Such a little fashionista, this one year old. We didn't care that she was getting her dress dirty while pulling weeds in the garden. She had a million others waiting for her to choose from the next day.

Kyler was always the one that tried to get out of the work; he wasn't being lazy, he just had better things to do. He wanted to dig in the dirt, building roads and trails for he and Devin's cars and trucks. So, he'd grudgingly pull his row of weeds and usually "baby Kenna's" (as he was apt to call her,) inch of Pumpkin mounds. We never knew why he was so willing to do her work, but so determined not to do his own. I guess he just loved her that much. 
After, he would merrily go on his way to the fun stuff. He loved the solitude of dusk where he knew no one could really see him playing. That was just his personality (and is to this day.)

Devin, the ever dutiful son, would pull his weeds, water his rows, and make sure that everyone else completed their tasks until he felt comfortable going off to play. If Matt and I were still working (okay, I would wander off, head back to help and wander off again to snap a picture or two of the younger kids playing...) then Devin would also continued to work. 

One evening, while Devin was working, he kept stopping and would just gaze off into the forest. I thought maybe he was afraid something wild was out in the shadows because he started jumping up and down stumbling on his words. I ran over to see what he was so excited about and he just pointed. There in the trees the "winged luminescence." teased our little guy into confusion. Our kids had lived in Florida months before. They had not seen shining flashlight-type bugs. Devin was over-the-moon excited for his discovery.

Running in the house, I grabbed mason jars, poked holes in the lids, and headed back out to the yard. I told the kids that we were going to have a little fun trying to catch the "Flashlight bugs" as Kyler called them. Kyler thought they needed food and somewhere to sleep so he had Devin help him find twigs and pull grass blades from the lawn for the "flashlight bugs" to snack on. What a sweet caring little kid my middle one was. 

Then they were off. 

Dashing in and out of the darkness, hands grasping for the untouchable bugs. Kyler said, they were too slippery. Devin said, they were just too fast. Kenna just sat in her car watching. We asked Matt to step in and help. Eventually he caught one. With his cupped hand he placed the now dark bug into one of the jars and hastily put on the lid. A flick and it was like a lighter had lite up the bug's behind. The kids were enthralled. It was their turn to catch those tricky bugs! 

For what seemed like hours and way beyond the kid's bedtime, they dodged here and there trying to catch "flashlight bugs". After all four jars were finally filled with snapping shots of light, the soft pattering of their feet slowed down to almost a standstill. They were beat. 

Heads on shoulders, arms clasped around necks; Matt and I carried our little crew into their rooms and snuggled them into their covers. The boys fell asleep heads hitting the pillow. Kenna needed her puppy light. Eventually that bedtime ritual was complete. One last glass of water was begged for before she settled into slumberland.

Exhausted, Matt and I settled on the front porch relishing in the final flashes of nighttime. Relishing in the moments we had just made with our kids. 

Today, I yearn for small arms curled around my neck and pattering feet. All because I read Laura Boggess's beautiful imagery of Fireflies and Clover.

It's funny how good writing can do that.