Mike Dariano


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Death Bed Point Challenge!

She shouts 'Daddy, daddy, look'. We're sitting outside on a warm summer evening and our five year old daughter is trying to hula-hoop. She's making great advances, progressing from quarter rotations, to half, to full and beyond. She's wiggling her little hips and shaking her arms. The hips I think are playing an important role but the arms are moving on their own, like the rest of her body is so focused on the hoop movement that there isn't any attention left for the arms so they just move like long sea grasses spiked by occasional jerks.

After hula-hooping for a while and as the sun begins to slouch down the horizon like it does on lazy summer days, we prepare for the main event, the firefly hunt. Our daughters have never found and caught fireflies before and were promised that this would be the night. We prepare by finding a container with air holes and letting them fill it with things fireflies might like to eat. Grass, leaves, and two marshmallows were deposited with the care a newborn parent might show when readying a nursery. Then begins the arduous wait for our tenants.

During the wait I thought about my kids (Instead of pulling out my cell-phone). That there were these wonderful, almost magical moments where they were so full of life and love and that instead of capturing fireflies I wanted to bottle the feelings and keep them forever. There wasn't much time for nostalgia, the fireflies began signaling us with their brief flashes.

We waded out in the grass, waiting for one to snap its light on and then off again. I caught the first two and put them in their new apartment. Then our three year old caught one with a delicateness and dexterity I had never seen before. She too was able to place it in the container and then all three of us took a break to look at the container and marvel at the contents. We had done it. We had left civilization and forayed into the wild to collect these animal, or something close. After a moment of awe we resumed catching them. We must have caught twenty fireflies that night and most of them made it into the container. More important than fireflies though, I got one Death Bed Point.

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