This week, I am spending some time with my 2 sons in Pennsylvania. It is the week between the end of school and the start of summer camp and we are in this delicious limbo of not much to do and little external structure.
We're taking walks and I'm letting them explore the countryside. Today, they found an old stone house on the property where we're staying. It's probably close to 100 years old and slowly being torn apart by vines and sinking into muddy ground. They spent most of today making up stories about the house and its history and took a bunch of photographs.
At dusk, I sat on a picnic bench with my 11 year old and watched the fireflies rise from the grass. We just sat there listening to the quiet, the birdsong, wind in the trees. We wondered where the fireflies go when they sleep and wondered, too, what their secret code means. My son decided there were some mysteries better not known and I have to agree with him.
I hugged him and told him to remember this moment. I know there will be a time when he is more man than boy, when he will be ready to leave home. For now, I revel in the feel of his hand in mine and the moments we spent tonight with the fireflies.
My teenager sat with me in the hallway outside our room and talked. Not about anything in particular. Just this and that. Books he's reading, songs he likes. Sometimes we both stayed quiet. There was no push to make it 'quality time'. It was just time.
Precious, fleeting, lovely time.