We never check the weather. A sudden shower, though inexplicable, was just one of many wonders- like finding a dollar bill. Or hearing a payphone ring. No matter the morning chatter about rain coats and umbrellas, dark clouds and thunderheads are moot. If anything, adult fascinations are prompts to get our asses outside faster. And even while sunny moments shift to syrupy downpours, we understand it all follows into more tomorrows. The terra firma pheromones, now loosened and unmoored, summon notes of sunscreen and popsicles and pool chlorine; a brief reminder that an unending summer can still be interrupted. Rising from a million trillion joyous bloom’s and puddling up at curbsides, in riverbeds and fields wild with eye height grasses, the message telling kids to keep splashing up and down driveways stained with late summer sunsets and street chalk is clear. And while adults roll up windows and shelter, we gallop through yards and dart between cars. Fences are tightropes. Trees, trapezes. Dinner warnings; heralds for one more round! The protest always begins at dusk. No one wears a watch. The neighbourhood does it for us. I count down, as the sun slips and simmers into Lake Ontario, One 100, two 100, three 100, four 100, five 100. Ready or not, here I come! Then bounce into the street from the green box, a homemade homebase, halo’d in street lamp glow just enough for safety; shadow wrapped enough to allow a quick slip into the darkness. Any minute the front stoop phone chain will start. Mike lives the farthest, his dad’s vocal power is unmatched. His bass line fills 4 square blocks easily. It's frightening when he uses it inside the house. Lisa’s mom will just stand on the porch staring out into the night. She won't turn on the exterior, the mosquitoes are bad at dusk. Lisa catches hell every time, for each bite her mom suffers. Someone in Tony’s house semaphore flickers from the kitchen. Whatever the code, he runs home mid sentence just in time for all of the house lights to go off. My mom informs the neighbourhood, Chris!! Time to come in for a bath! I drag my ass. I wander down the block. Just far enough to say I didn’t hear you. Just far enough to get a believably desperate running start back up the driveway. Just far enough to still show I care. Just far enough to test if they are there. Just far enough to remind myself that we will not give up summer freedom without a fight.