Our most recent Family Visit was our 13th Family Visit date, beginning on July 13th. The temperature in Corcoran was over 100, so we planned on doing something to cool ourselves off: a water fight! Summer time at Family Visit can be very hot so we have been hatching this water fight plan for quite some time. At Family Visit we have extremely limited resources: no water balloons, water squirters, sprinklers, or anything like that would be allowed; so we had to think pretty creatively. The rules clearly state that we are to be fully dressed when going outside into the enclosed yard space, Sean has to wear his prison uniform and I must be visit-approved, but we did wear our “shower shoes” aka sandals. The dishes, pots and pans for each Family Visit are provided by the prison in a large plastic storage bin. Sunday afternoon, when the sun was bright over our unit, was the perfect time for our epic water battle to begin. First, we cleaned the bin and filled it with water from the bathtub until it was almost too heavy to lift. Then we placed the bin on top of the rolling cart that I use to bring in all the supplies for the weekend, filling the big bin up more. We had plastic cups to use to sling the water at each other as planned, we set those onto the cart also. Once the cart was carefully pushed outside onto the cement patio into the heat of the day Sean went back inside to grab our iced tea. This was my chance for a sneak attack! I dipped my cup into the bin of water to fill it, and quickly hid behind the wall of the unit outside, out of view from the door. I was sure he would have no idea, and since his cup was outside with me, I believed he would come out expecting to get ready for the water fight. I waited until I heard him coming out the door and as he came into view I quickly launched the water right at him. But the surprise was on me because while inside, he had grabbed a bowl, filled it with water and had sneak attacked me at the same time! We were BOTH wet and laughing. It was the best surprise water attack ever.
After the initial water attack we set to work filing our cups and splashing each other in the yard, the sun was super hot and intensely bright over our heads but luckily I had been able to bring in sunscreen knowing we would be spending some time outdoors playing in the water. I remember his big smile as we ran around chasing each other with the water. It was fun. Once we were both soaking wet we got out the popsicles we had made hours earlier using drink mix packets and the clear popsicle tray I had brought in. The strawberry drink mix was the perfect flavor and we sat on a towel, dripping wet, enjoying our cold treat in the sweltering heat. It felt great, this is what summer is all about.
Later that day, we stood at the fence line watching the sun set as we often do. It struck me as a heavy moment. I tried my best to explain it to him. “All you have been able to see for over 16 years is whatever lies beyond the fences. It’s all flat and barren. You don’t ever get to see anything else but this.” But he totally surprised me by saying “I see this beautiful girl.” And I completely understood.