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Summer…

With a bingo ball and a Lego block, that’s how summer begins.

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It is a typical shopping day:

Hop in the car. Back out of the driveway. “Who has the
list?” Oops… forgot the list, back into the driveway. Søren is chosen for the
journey there and back again. I
watch him up the driveway… there he goes, two minutes later back again clutching
the list triumphantly. My youngest son jumps into the car and we’re off…

 We arrive at Trader Joe’s in nothing flat. In summer we
don’t have to battle traffic patterns.

Splitting the list into five sections, we scurry in five
directions, grab the goods and get in line. It’s a little game we play, our
version of Beat the Clock. I get a kick out of the items slipped into the cart
by my frenetic shoppers: Crispy Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies, Altoids, frozen
pizza, Hansen’s Soda, lime popsicles, and even rice milk when they’re
desperate. Sometimes I smile, let
them see me turn a blind eye, but mostly I draw the line, “Put it back please.”

On this particular day, the first shopping day of summer, we
are fast, no doubt accomplished our trip in record time. The five of us want
nothing more than to be home doing nothing, that’s right n-o-t-h-i-n-g.

When we arrive home, the finely tuned chaotic task of carrying
in and putting away the groceries begins. We drop the bags as close to the back
door as possible. Then my three sons throw the contents one by one in rapid
fire to Hannah who is waiting by the open refrigerator door.  I usually head outside about this time
on the pretense of double-checking the car, “Wouldn’t want to forget that bag
with the ice cream.” In reality I’m avoiding the flying carton of eggs,
counting backwards from ten slowly.

Three or four steps later I recognize a familiar sight: the
hatch is open, the car doors too, so I peak in and there it is, sneering at me:
Bingo ball O 74.

I pick up the evidence, tuck it into my pocket, and begin
preparing for the deposition: “Please respond to Exhibit A…”

Surprisingly I remain patient despite the fact that little
lost game pieces and Lego blocks startling my bare feet in the middle of the
night haunt me. As I walk into the kitchen (celery flying) I see my four
enjoying the work of being a family.  I remind myself that someday I might actually miss primary
red, yellow, and blue Legos giggling, “Boo,” on my midnight path.

In the end I simply tap my eldest son, Taylor, on the
shoulder and hold out my open palm cradling O 74, “Would you mind putting this
away?”

Later that night, when I reach for a book atop the piano, a
bothersome sight catches my eye…

“Oh Taylor…”

“Yes mom?”

“Didn’t I ask you to put this away earlier?”

 “Yes… but I made a sculpture.”

 “A sculpture?

 “I call it ‘Bingo Ball and a Lego Piece’.”

How can I argue with that?

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