July brings afternoon thunderstorms, fresh puddles for jumping, and shiny little galoshes for toddler feet. The 2nd of July brings joy and Shepherd’s pie and double chocolate birthday cake for my beloved. Cousins play on the 4th, tossing toys and drawing pictures and sneaking a rigorous tap or two on piano keys, while adults speak over plates of sweet green bean salad, corn on the cob, and a few convincing veggie-dogs. Some days bring bubbles and water for splashing in the backyard, while other days bring air conditioned visits to the children’s museum where we pin-the-tail of a hen on an interactive Chagall reproduction. Today, the dark and booming sky brings time for writing while the rest of the house sleeps. I think about our evening jogs and our morning jokes – I point to my husband’s long hair and beard and he smiles and says questioningly, “Café d’If?” Chateâu! Chateâu! We laugh with playful innocence. Days to come will inevitably bring strawberry popsicles to soothe two year molars, the making of long missed play-dough, and hopefully the resumption of story time at the library. For now, I will leave as the lightning flashing across the sky and loud claps of thunder show me a strong storm is nearing. However, I will leave you on a “sunny” note — our sunflowers are all in bloom, with bees buried in yellow pollen. That’s all! That’s all! I have got to go!