We came home and dropped the bags on the floor. Rosemary ate a pint of raspberries and Charlie found a cold treat in the freezer. The air conditioner was struggling. I shoved meat and fruit in the fridge and retreated.
I spent the afternoon on my bed with a book. A whole afternoon. The kids wandered in and out, coming in to play, to flip over my knees and crawl on my belly (it's so soft, Mama). I would pause and lay down my book and play until Rosemary returned to playing in a bowl of water in the bathroom sink and Charlie retreated to his tablet or a television show or Lego.
And I read. My windows were open, and I kept catching the scent of summer - the sharp, fresh cut of grass that always makes me think of fluttery crushes. The chalky, dusty smell after a truck rumbles by on our dirt road. The air is still thick with the sweet smell of a late-starting summer. It smells green and rosy and hot. The only thing that would have made it better would have been a short spell of heavy rain and thunder, and then I could have smelled the electricity and that distinct scent of warm rain hitting the hot ground.
The children wandered in again. They want fried egg sandwiches for supper. Mmm-hmm, my noncommittal answer into their hair. I was as relaxed as I'd ever been and, in that moment, could promise them anything.
My husband came home from work and we ate our fried eggs and vegetable hash and left everything exactly where we dropped it on the table, because the river was calling again. Plates and forks can leftovers can wait. I gather what we need - just my camera and a towel - and we drive with our windows down to the river.
The rocks are flat and hot in the hazy-orange evening sun. The kids splash in the sometimes brackish warm water. There is the skittery sound of feet on rough rock. The sheer delight of jumping up and down in the water. We wander around, finding bugs, finding ledges, rapids, someone's forgotten sock.
My house is a mess. When we came home, the dog had shed some more, toys were scattered about, the kitchen still looked as it did thirty seconds after we ate. I don't care. My husband put on his straw had and went out and buried his hands in the earth, in the garden. I started a new book. I spent my day getting rich in other ways. And I can only hope I will do it again tomorrow.