We could debate the merits of “Silly Love Songs” (though we’re probably on the same side), but for anyone who’d argue the value of the arts, name one thing lovelier than the instant sound of a diving board’s bounce, the shouts and whistles and muffled pitches of summertime chatter; the smell of chlorine and suntans and vinyl-strapped poolside chairs; the sight of smooth, artificially-tinged water parting then folding back on itself to the rhythmic rise and fall of your dad’s submerged shoulders, as you cling to his neck, delighted, commanding him to ferry you faster, faster, into the deep end.
Night before Halloween. Fudge can not sleep. 442nd request from the top of the stairs:
Fudge: “Mama? MAaaaaMaaaah. MAMA!”
Me: “What IS IT NOW? If you don’t go to sleep, there will BE NO HALLOWEEN!!!”
Fudge: “Okay, but Mama? What time is my alarm USUALLY set for?”
Me: “What? I don’t know. What? …6:45, I think, why?”
Fudge: “Can you wake me up early? I need to get up early. So, at, like, 6:43? Yeah. I need you to wake me up at 6:43. I’ve got things to do.”