Summer vacation is coming, and I want to make room for it in this crowded basement, leave space on those shelves for the girls to see possibilities and breathe art and science projects to life.

I want to be excited for all the things they will imagine and want to make and not resent the moving of boxes to get to pipe cleaners and crystal-making kits. I know imagining and creating takes elbow room, and so I’m elbowing my way through the storage area, struggling for it because summer is coming.

I push the Goodwill pile out of the corner and up the stairs and into the back of the car with the old vacuum and the potty chair. Give away that art set we never use and the seven pairs of old kid shoes.

In the middle of cardboard and clutter, I open a large box that’s taking up loads of space on our wire shelves. It holds a cobalt blue teapot, a hurricane candle holder and mounds of bubble wrap. Five years ago when we moved in, this box was filled with vases and taped safe with loads of the clear bubbly stuff.

I feel a little giddy now, realizing that I can find a place for the contents and push that box and wrapping out of the way.

Then I remember how much the girls love bubble wrap and how few times they’ve really been able to go to town on it because we needed the sheets for such-and-such. And then I see my long braid self with my sweet-faced little sis and feel again the joy and satisfaction of pop-pop-popping.

I bring the armload of it — big bubble and little bubble wrap — upstairs, and while Michael finishes preparing homemade ice cream with the new ice cream maker (!), I lay sheets across the floor, and the girls and I start to work.

J takes a running start and jumps square on the big bubbles, and they explode, and we laugh at the huge, startling noise and the way she almost slides across the plastic.

Lala stands next to me and uses her little pincher fingers to squeeze tiny bubbles and grins when they staccato pop in her own pinch.

Sici twists as much of the wrap as she can fit in her 10-year-old hands and smiles at the cracks and pops that shoot through our giggling.

And I can’t stop popping the wrap. I search for the un-popped bubbles in the midst of the flattened because I want to get them all.

Chocolate chip mint ice cream waits for us in the kitchen, music plays loudly in the living room and we enjoy our homemade firecrackers.

We’ve got all the elements. Surprise, held breath and exhales like satisfaction as pops and clustered cracks punctuate humid air, open space.

In our house, summer is here.

(Linking up today with other freely written words at Just Write on The Extraordinary Ordinary.)

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