Whenever the weather was right, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, I would become the happiest I had ever been.
I would always dig through my bathing suit drawer to find my favorite one; it always seemed to live at the bottom, leaving all the others strewn out across my floor. It’d be 8:30 in the morning, but I’d run downstairs and beg my mom for two things.
A popsicle—specifically blue, but purple would do if we were out.
And to put the sprinkler under the trampoline.
She would always say the same thing, “It’s too early for that Emma,” so I’d spend the whole day in my swimsuit waiting until it was finally time to put the sprinkler under the trampoline and for me to retrieve that coveted popsicle.
I’d beg her all day to go outside and drag out the blue and red sprinkler—the one we kept stored on a high shelf in the garage so I couldn’t reach it before it was time.
We’d have to wait until after lunch, and then we’d have to wait until my brother woke up from his nap. I hated waiting for him to wake up. I never did quite understand how he could sleep while it was undeniably perfect trampoline weather outside.
My mom would get my brother dressed in his swimsuit, and I’d run around to the side of the house and pull with all my might on the hose to get it into the backyard.
I spent hours under the hot summer sun. I’d tire myself out from trying to jump over its spray. I spilled more blue popsicle on myself than I ever consumed. I’d fall asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow, and I’d wake up the next morning and do it again.
I haven’t pulled out the sprinkler in years.
The red and blue colors faded years ago, and it now sits in an unknown corner, collecting dust.
I no longer spend hours on the trampoline being showered in its cold cascade of manmade rain. I now spend hours doing my homework. I traded in blue popsicles in my backyard for sandwiches and juice boxes in the school cafeteria. I no longer have hours to wait for it to be time for the sprinkler. My days are full of school, homework, and practice.
I’ve made it my mission to find that old blue and red sprinkler, and I’m going to set it up under my trampoline this summer if only to eat a blue popsicle.