Interlude of Laughing

Camping on the shore of Lake Champlain this weekend with three enthusiastic 13-year-old girls, we did summer staying-on-an-island things — we biked and we swam for hours (and I mean hours). We walked on the breakwater at sunset. The loons woke us with their crazy calling at night. I read; the girls explored.

And we talked and talked and talked. The girls, giggling, spied on a father camping nearby. He told his two tiny boys, who wore only orange crocs, that Whining and dessert are counter to each other.

Someday, I told the girls, they might hear themselves saying something equally inane as a parent.

The island’s grass, always so lush and cool, had withered brown with lack of rain. The last morning there, rain began just after dawn. I lay in the tent, listening to the welcome patter, and then, just as I believed rain might be settling in for a day, it abruptly ceased, as if shut off.

In the unrelieved humidity, we packed slowly.

A glossy bit of summer in the land of childhood.

Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days.

— Flannery O’Connor

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Burton Island, Vermont