These are the days / by Christina Rosalie

We ate dinner outdoors, breaded chicken, fresh snap peas, homemade French fries; and then walked up the road to the neighbor's pond, the three of us and a red wagon. Sitting out on the slender plank dock, frogs began to call back and forth across the still water. Above us, swallows swooped low for insects.

We kept Bean up late, with a cup of frothed milk and a pillow in his wagon, because a neighbor puts on a grand firework display every year, and tonight was the night! As good, or better than the ones in town. Dozens upon dozens of sparkling, fill-the-whole-sky-with-brilliance, fireworks. Sipping cold beer. Fresh chocolate chip cookies. Plenty of dogs. Bean curled in my lap, his wide grin lit again and again by each new display.

Have I mentioned we have lovely neighbors? We really do. DH and I keep feeling like we walked into a storybook—at the end of our long dirt road. I am beyond grateful that we found this place: this land, these people. Last Friday we went to another neighborhood shindig: a strawberry festival. Everyone brought deserts featuring local strawberries. The counter top was a mosaic of berries and cream and cake. Bean was the only kid in a forest of adults and everyone indulged him: pouring more lemonade, adding extra chocolate dipped strawberries to his plate, and cooing when he flashed them a smile and bated his lovely eyelashes.

He's at such a cool age right now: he says thank you and please without prompting (mostly,) and can tag along to such gatherings without certain disaster ensuing. Tonight he was a love. Wide-eyed and eager, he totally dug the whole firework thing. And then rode home watching stars and fireflies, and crawled willingly into bed. These are the days I want to remember when I'm eighty.