She whispered from the bunk above me. “I think we can go now. She must be asleep.”

Quietly, like a cat, she jumped down from her bed, while I crawled out from under my own covers below. A dim light from under the door helped us navigate across the room we shared. We ever so quietly tiptoed out into the hall, past the bedroom where Mom slept. All of us kids, we sure wore her out, but we also knew she would awaken at the slightest of noises. We prayed the floor wouldn’t squeak nor our ankles make a crack.

Stifling giggles and trying not to stumble in our excitement, we went down the stairs to the landing. Ah yes, the big door was still standing open, letting the cool night air stream in. That meant Pop, ever the night owl, was still up. Probably down in the family room watching TV or reading a book. Some of our siblings were likely still be up with him. No school for the summer meant later bedtimes for the older kids, though not for us.

Please don’t make a sound, we can’t be stopped before we’ve started, I thought as we pushed open the screen door and let ourselves out from dark house into the darker beyond. We might not get another ideal opportunity.

The concrete steps were cold on my bare feet, and the grass colder still with dew drops clinging to their blades. The night air felt wonderful after such a sweltering sunny day. A light breeze prickled the skin on the back of my neck and sent a thrill down my spine.

A perfect night for fireflies.

We could see them flitting all around us, all across the wide expanse of lawn. We ran in circles, catching them in our palms. Peeking between my thumbs, I could see just blink, blink, blink, like the tiniest of signal flares sending an SOS for help. I let it go after just a moment, no harm intended. Catch another quick, feel its buzzing against my skin. Peek again. Let it go.

It was too much fun to be quiet about it. There was no doubt we would soon be caught ourselves. Our laughter pealed through the air, into the windows, waking our mother.

“Come back inside,” she called. “Go back to bed.” Not angry, but not exactly pleased. We were happy though, we’d had our romp. Did you know Mom, when we went down the hall, what we were up to? Did you purposefully let us have those few moments before you came out to get us?

I remember catching fireflies with my sister. I have no doubt she does too, though I don’t remember ever talking about it.


14 Responses to “fireflies”

  1. AndreAnna on September 25th, 2008 9:52 am

    Great writing.

    I have memories of this with my sister and hope my son and daughter can transcend gender boundaries and make similar ones.

  2. AndreAnna on September 25th, 2008 9:52 am

    Great writing.

    I have memories like this with my sister and hope my son and daughter can transcend gender boundaries and make similar ones.

    AndreAnnas last blog post..Down the same road

  3. Mary Beth on September 25th, 2008 12:13 pm

    This was reserved for the beach during the summer. All the cousins would go outside and try to catch them in between games of Ghost in the Graveyard, while the parents relaxed around the dinner table.

    Mary Beths last blog post..CHANGING SEASONS

  4. Robin ~ PENSIEVE on September 25th, 2008 12:44 pm

    J’adore this post! What a precious memory and so beautifully shared. 🙂

  5. Candylanding on September 25th, 2008 1:29 pm

    I love fireflies too. We always caught them at camp and wore them or our fingers as rings! I miss the good ole days….

  6. ErinSlick on September 25th, 2008 2:53 pm

    What a beautiful memory. I have no sisters, but stories like these make me wish I did.

    ErinSlicks last blog post..Cinnamon Toast

  7. we_be_toys on September 25th, 2008 4:40 pm

    Wonderful slice of memory! I loved reading every minute of it because it reminded me of the stuff we did as kids too.

    Oh those glorious fireflies!

    we_be_toyss last blog post..Meet My Hamster (aka, The Long Downward Spiral And It’s Wherefore)

  8. Desiree on September 25th, 2008 5:35 pm

    That was a fantastic post! How sweet a time that must have been. We don’t have fireflies here but I imagine they are amazing to see.

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful memory… made me smile.

    Desirees last blog post..Wordless Wednesday – #39 – Best Friend

  9. mumma boo on September 25th, 2008 7:22 pm

    Beautiful post about a wonderful memory! Thanks for sharing that with us!

  10. sometimessophia on September 26th, 2008 11:34 am

    Ah… fireflies. My sister and I used to catch them in jars to light the night. Also, I’m ashamed to say, we’d squish their little bodies to pluck out the glowing abdomen. Fixing it firmly between our brows like a caste mark, we’d parade around the backyard like Queens of Sheba, veils on our heads and willow-branch scepters in hand.

    sometimessophias last blog post..WhAMU

  11. Caro on September 27th, 2008 9:55 am

    I wonder if my memory is yours? I only vaguely remember doing this, but I know it’s true. You brought it back to life though – and that means everything. 🙂 Love you.

  12. texasholly @ June Cleaver Nirvana on October 1st, 2008 2:27 pm

    I absolutely loved this. Beautiful. Joyful.

    Thanks so much for linking today!

    texasholly @ June Cleaver Nirvanas last blog post..It is not me, it is you…LINK HERE NOW

  13. Debbie on October 1st, 2008 5:44 pm

    You are a talented writer. I love the way you set this up and painted such a vivid picture.

    Debbies last blog post..Do you think Milton Bradley was aware of this side-effect?

  14. jill on October 2nd, 2008 4:09 pm

    That was GREAT!!! I love my memories with my sisters. That was beautiful!

    jills last blog post..Thankful Thursday

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