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The girls' swimsuits gape around the shoulders, because they are tall but have no baby fat to fill them properly. They are all lanky legs, wet grass sticking to them. Now they are quiet laughter, passing only hands through the water. Trembling in the sun, small blue noses. No we are not cold. No no no. Please let us stay outside. Of course I relent, because their hair sticking out in fat wet clumps, and I want to taste it.

The kids are shrieking. And laughing.

Fine, then. If you are not cold how does THIS feel. This is when I am supposed to pick up the sprinkler and wave it at them, but they run screaming, and besides it really is getting cold, so I turn it off instead. Time for warming up, kids. Seriously. I capture them in a towel tent and heave them off the ground as one sack. Put us down they say. Let us out.

Are you kidding. This happiness is mine today. They squirm out anyway, shake like shaggy dogs. Drops flying, I do not mind getting wet even though we have shut the water already.

Did I mention their young laughter? Light. Clear fresh.


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