Sweet Freedom

Things are a little tight at our house right now. We chose our place because it had 3 bedrooms, was cheap, wasn't old, and had a yard. All major perks. There is also a train that goes by a few times a day. And for a few moments, we stand in silent awe as the cars rumble by. However, right before the train tracks is a ditch. And this ditch is full of water. Also, our backyard has this fabulous tree that shades the entire yard and gives support to the fabulous caterpillar swing. Water + shade in the summertime in Dallas, however, means the bugs are out of control.

I can hardly load the boys in the car without getting eaten alive. And according to a very helpful radio broadcast one day, the mosquitos this year have mutated and are larger than normal, which apparently means that bug spray is less effective on them.

I have never before known the agony that is staying up from 1-3 scratching chigger bites. Do you know what a chigger is? It is smaller than the size of a period at the end of this sentence. It hides on your skin and then puts its jaws into you and kills all the skin around it to feed on for days. And you itch like mad. I begged for mosquito bites the day I learned what a chigger bite felt like.

The way you get rid of them is by taking a bleach bath [no lie.] and then covering each bite with clear nail polish to suffocate the little jerks. Our tub is sparkly white. How's that for a silver lining? haha.

We have battled the bugs by staying inside most of the time or going on outings to the pool, splash pad, or park. [Though the boys got chigger bites at the park, too.] Unfortunately, my garden is in this pest-infested yard and I do not value it high enough to be bitten on a daily basis. It is intentionally neglected.

Just this past week, though, Cameron found chigger repellant! And I found a $3 bottle of something called Chigger-rid. He tested it and grilled burgers for us in shorts. [Brave man.] He came inside without a single bite!

So today, when the clouds opened up and rained down right after dinner, I sprayed the boys with the repellant and turned them outside to play in the rain. And oh sweet freedom! I love watching them explore, run, be boys.

I sat at the kitchen table eating sweet cherries, listening to the rain, and snapping pictures.

And my heart was full.

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