Several summers ago, an old friend and I were playing in a park at dusk. When the fireflies came out, we were both thrilled to catch them. My friend decided it would be fun to smash the bugs on his hands so his palms would glow, and it quickly turned into a game of how many fireflies I could protect, and how many he could smash. I was so mad at my friend for destroying these beautiful little creatures, but I was also laughing through my anger.
I miss that evening in the park. I’m reminded of it every summer when the fireflies come out, and a small smile always crosses my face as I remember.
I remember how hot it was and how much we were sweating. I remember how the mosquitoes always found me, despite the copious amounts of bug spray I was using. I remember going to that trampoline park and jumping and running until our legs gave out. I remember watching Harry Potter every night and placing bets on the characters. I remember going to that splash park with our siblings and literally suffocating with laughter. I remember eating that chocolate cereal every morning for breakfast and those nasty bean burritos. I remember trying to braid each other’s hair and “accidentally” getting into some old makeup. I remember having a competition to see who could pour the most instant lemonade powder in their mouth. I remember that little blue bracelet from the museum gift shop, which I still wear. I remember miserably digging and sifting through dirt in the heat of the day, looking for “buried treasure.” I remember eating fresh watermelon on the back porch and seeing who could spit the seeds the farthest. I remember catching those fireflies in the park.
Every year when the fireflies come out, I remember the best week of my life.
And the fireflies came out last night.
Dedicated to you – if you ever happen read this, you’ll know who you are. Thanks for the memories, and don’t get smashed. I’ll always be here to protect you.