Fig tree summer

You weren’t there, so you can’t call me a bad mother, but it sucked last week and we reached our boiling point on the porch.

It’s a fig tree summer, and the air is sweet, but it’s so hot, and we’re all baking out there, pink and glistening.

It started when the cat knocked over a glass candle thingy – my favorite one – it’s — it WAS — sea foam green, and then I slit the soft side of my little toe open on one of the shards.

“Fuck,” I screamed.

“You shouldn’t curse,” my daughter said from her perch on the chair outside. “Besides, it’s your fault anyway for putting glass on the shelf you know the cats climb.”

“Oh no, you did not just tell me that this is my fault.”

“Oh yes I did.”

I finished sweeping the glass, hotter by the minute.

“I’m bored,” she whined. “It’s so boring here. You don’t take us anywhere. I’m hotttt, it’s boring, oofff Ima, it’s annoying to be around you.”

So I did what any reasonable responsible and loving mother would do. I grabbed the garden hose, turned it on, and sprayed her head to toe.

She howled and shrieked and flapped her arms.


“Are you sure? I asked, because by this time she was laughing, and suddenly, she was dancing in between the spray, and then i threw the hose to her to catch, and she caught it in the air and turned it on me, and soaked me from head to toe, and I stood there shrieking and shivering — and laughing too, — just like a little girl wild and free, tiny diamonds glistening off my skin.

We were fairies. Fairies covered in diamonds.

“Are you bored now Little One?”


“Damn right.”

So we grabbed the bamboo mat and left the porch and sat under the fig tree, mostly in the sun, while steam rose from our bodies. We sat for a few minutes pressed together until we were lightly toasted and covered with dust again.

My son came out to join us.

“What are you doing?” he asked while he dragged his toe in the dirt.

“Getting unbored.” my daughter answered.

“Want to join?” I asked.

He turned around and walked away.

“Guess not.”

A minute later we were hit with spray right on our shoulders, our backs, and our faces and he was standing there with the hose.

“Females are crazy,” he said while we chased him through the dirt. “But I’m happy to help.”

About the Author
Sarah Tuttle-Singer, author of Jerusalem Drawn and Quartered and the New Media Editor at Times of Israel, She was raised in Venice Beach, California on Yiddish lullabies and Civil Rights anthems. She now lives in Jerusalem with her 3 kids where she climbs roofs, explores cisterns, opens secret doors and talks to strangers, and writes stories about people. Sarah also speaks before audiences left, right, and center through the Jewish Speakers Bureau, asking them to wrestle with important questions while celebrating their willingness to do so. She also loves whisky and tacos and chocolate chip cookies and old maps and foreign coins and discovering new ideas from different perspectives. Sarah is a work in progress.

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