Today is my older brother Bill’s 41st birthday.
My, oh my!
I woke up with a smile just thinking about him…and a time when we were wee ones and the world revolved around getting outside to play, scoring sugar-based snacks behind our mother’s back, and having fun.
On hot summer days my mother used to set up the sprinkler in the front yard…one of those contraptions that sent an arch of water up into the air, moving forward and then backward to distribute the water across the lawn. We three siblings, my brother, sister and I, would put on our bathing suits and indulge in hours of water-based fun.
We’d do cartwheels through the spray…dance as the cool water hit our sun-kissed skin…laughing and screaming and generally having the time of our lives.
We three…outside together…just having fun in the sun.
It’s a rare special memory of summer-based fun - we spent most summer days at my brother’s school, bored out of our minds while he took speech therapy or some other therapy or was assessed by experts who had assessed him and would sure as shit assess him again.
I understand it all now…as an adult, I can see the why of it…but back then my brother’s summer school was a pain in the ass that I resented the hell out of.
But oh, relief and childish release…a day spent just being kids, having a blast, spinning and spinning in a shower of water while slipping and falling down in the wet grass.
When I close my eyes ‘tis that memory that my mind turns to…not the boring as hell days spent in a muggy school pretending to read a book while longing to be anywhere else.
I remember holding Bill’s hand and running toward the sprinkler, laughing and gasping for air…I remember leaping into the spray and feeling invincible…fearless.
The feel of the heat and cool water.
The sounds of summer, lawn mowers and birds and a baseball game on the radio.
Our laughter rising above it all…giggles and shouts…the noise of youth in motion.
As we tumbled and stumbled and danced in the water…
...baptized in child-based absolute summer joy.
Happy birthday, Bill.