This summer someone gifted us this blue, plastic, blow up whale that attaches to a sprinkler and shoots water out of its blow hole, because, what else, right? For most of the summer it sat unopened on our countertop, because it was hot and 160 percent humidity, and because our grass died (AGAIN) rendering our yard (mostly) muddy. So, for the life of me, I couldn’t get motivated to set this thing up.
ANYWAY, periodically Sher would mention it like, “Oh we should do the whale sprinkler thing!”
And I’d be like, “Oh yeah okay right we will very soon like tomorrow,” whilst thinking, “I don’t want to do this. Joel will hate it. And Fredrik will hate it. And I don’t want to get my hair wet.”
But, finally, one day, towards the end of the summer, I fulfilled my promise, and one afternoon I was like, “Today is whale day,” mostly because I wanted to prove to Sher that I was a cool mom, as opposed to the most boringest, laziest, lamest mom to ever grace this earth.
So we dressed Joel and Fredrik in water clothes and went outside, whale in tow. I proceeded to make Sher blow up the whale, because this is mostly why I paid her the big bucks, and she succeeded, though she did become a little light headed in the process.
I must say, once the whale was ready, it was underwhelming at best, because I was expecting it to be life sized, but instead it was like two feet long by one foot wide… But nevertheless we persisted and hooked it up to the sprinkler and brought it down to the middle of the yard.
Joel kind of smiled at the whale but otherwise didn’t really know what to do, and Fredrik kind of squawked each time a water droplet pelted him in the eye. So being the cool mom I am, I started frolicking in the whale water, squealing (or something) for joy. Upon seeing me, Joel quickly followed suit and started “running through the sprinkler.”
“It’s like he needs to be shown how to have fun with this,” I told Sher, as she nodded in agreement.
And then, after about two more minutes of fun, Joel was officially bored.
“I think Joel would have had more fun if there were like a group of kids here. It’s kind of difficult to be excited about running through the sprinkler by yourself,” I noted.
“Yeah,” Sher agreed, “It would actually be perfect if there were like a three year old here.”
“Yeah,” I choked back tears, “It definitely would be.”
Lately I miss him most in moments like these… The water droplets that don’t fall on his head resulting in smiles and giggles and shrieks of excitement he doesn’t make. The things he doesn’t show his brothers, the lessons he doesn’t teach. There is always at least some element of silence to the loudest moments, some element of emptiness to the most full, and though I doubt these things are perceptible to anyone else, they’re so, so glaring to me.