The picture above is this week’s RemembeRED prompt over at the The Red Dress Club. We were to write about a memory inspired by this picture. I knew instantly that I would write about one of my earliest memories, one of those that I am not sure if the picture that I can see in my mind is derived from an old photo or from the actual memory. I think I was around four years old.
It was a hot, summer afternoon and we had set up camp on the front lawn. My mother had spread a nubby, chenille blanket out and her and her girlfriend were relaxing on the blanket while us kids played with the hose to cool off. There were three of us: my sister and I as well as my mother’s girlfriend’s son.
We took turns squirting each other with the hose, squealing in delight and shock as the cold water hit our warm little bodies. Over and over again, we would run towards the water anticipating the icy spray and then run away shrieking.
At some point, it occurred to me that it would be a lot more fun if the adults were involved. With both of my tiny hands squeezing the nozzle as hard as could I pointed the hose in their direction. My mother and her girlfriend sprung to their feet amidst shrieks of surprise and laughter.
It was a small yard so they had to run out the gate and onto the hot sidewalk to escape my watery assault. I followed them as far as I could and with my waif-like little frame tugging determinedly on the hose, I was able to reach just past the gate to send the spray towards them. The smell, like a warm summer rain, wafted up as the water hit the sidewalk.
By this time, I was giggling hysterically and in very real danger of wetting my pants but I was having far too much fun to stop. Each time they made an attempt to come back in the yard, I stopped them with a spray of water. I completely ignored my mother’s suggestions that I stop and let them back in until about the third time when something in the tone of her voice told me that it really was time to give up the game. My fun was over but the memory of the laughter and the wonderful sense of empowerment has stayed with me for decades.