To M: Happy 15th anniversary of the day we met. You were awesome then, and you are at least 15 times as awesome now. I love you. Thanks for a rockin' 15 years.

Laurel's on this wacky sleep schedule as a result of much traveling and not sleeping in our own beds. So, she fell asleep after the BBQ at Tony's place and woke up around 8:30. We let her come out on the porch where we ate a little snack and watched the fireflies and fireworks. Boom, she said, and slapped her thigh each time for emphasis. You see, while I am a proponent of routine for young children, I cannot resist exposing her to the magic of the longest days of summer. When we finally took her upstairs for Real Bedtime, we read some library books and it smelled exactly like the long summer days when my dad took us to the Carnegie main branch and we wandered through the stacks...that book smell of many different fingerprints, and possibility. I know that all she will remember from these days is a sort of visceral sense of love, but what I will remember is the three of us standing on our front walk watching fireworks burst over the buildings in our neighborhood and Laurel leaning in, asking for a "family hug", and spreading cheese and jam on slices of french bread, and the deep sense of contentment of being Three.

Life is so good this summer. Laurel's first kayak trip at the River House, and watching cartoons with Grandpa Curly. Collecting flowers with Grandma Cake, and swimming in a pool at Yia-Yia's. Camping in our tent, where her tiny body curls up next to mine in the deepest part of the night, after crickets but before birds, when it is cool and damp and silent. Hot days bent over weeds at the farm, and seeking solace in our air conditioned bedrooms in the early evening, building block towers and waiting for the Drring-Drrring of M's bicycle bell as he comes home from work.

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