The Fireflies of Summer Project

Me, age 4ish, in my Nanny nightgown

I don't think I ever owned a nightgown from birth to 10 years old that wasn't made by my Nanny.  Every cousin before me was a boy and I think she enjoyed having a little girl around to doll up.  My hair was often in pigtails and held up by pompom hairbands that she made for me, too.  I had as many aprons as I wanted and would wear them around her house and my own, playing with doll babies and pretending to make cakes with miniature pots and pans.  At night, in the summer, my parents would serve dinner and then I would put on my Nanny nightgown after my bath.  If it seemed like a good night for it, the parents in the neighborhood would open up their front doors and sit on the front stoops while their kids ran around in their nightclothes, catching fireflies and hypothesizing the reasons why their butts lit up.  The feel of cool grass on my bare feet, the gentle breeze causing my soft cotton nightgowns to rustle slightly, and the freedom of being outside as the sun went down...these are all memories that are irreplaceable and not capable of being erased.  These are the reasons why I find room in my heart for summer.

I remember, as an adult, my most favorite interpretation of a firefly's mission in life.  It came from my godkid Ruby, who has an imagination so vivid that sometimes I cannot believe that other brilliant children exist.  She and her mama were walking back home from somewhere one night and she said, regarding the firefly fluttering in front of them for much of the walk:

"That's berry nice of him to light up his butt 
so we can see where we're going!"

See what I mean?  Summer is magical.

When I stumbled across the free needlepoint patterns available at So September, I was overwhelming excited about the fireflies in a jar pattern.  Whether I was chasing them in my nightgown, or counting them around a campfire at one of my numerous camping adventures, fireflies are a generous gift of summer.  I started thinking about campfire songs, swimming in the pool at night, hanging out in my ugly brown tent in my Pop Pop's front yard down in the country, s'mores, windows down in the car and songs of summer.

I've decided that it would be fun to offer an exchange, of sorts.  I have enough dark blue linen and tons of embroidery hoops to make quite a few of the fireflies in a jar stitches, and a ton of songs in my iTunes library to make a pretty awesome summer music mix.  But I want to know what songs remind YOU of summer nights and firefly butts and campfires and all the delights that the season brings.  If you're interested in participating, you provide me with your favorite summer song and your address, and at some point in the next four to six weeks you'll receive a mix CD and a little bit of stitched goodness from me, just in time for summer.


Fill out the form by clicking the above link and let's get the summer started.  And thank you to all the fireflies out there who have lent us their butts.

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A big thanks to my Bucko for inspiring the mix tape portion of this project, and for giving the world the best kid ever.

1 comment:

  1. a sad but true fact: fireflies west of the rockies do not light up. it is the only other thing about the west coast that makes me homesick. the first being my grandkids.

    oh wait, 3 things. the pacific ocean is too damn cold (and generally dangerous) to swim in.

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All content © Meaghan O'Malley, 2009-2012. Header image by Rebekka Seale.