Once Upon A Time, a tomboy was standing by first base, glove open and ready for the next hit to come to her. The other players were scattered about yelling this and that to each other. Cars flew by on the city street behind all of us. If the batter hit it over that, it would be an automatic homerun.
It was the summer of 1986 and I was that tomboy.
The summer was filled with all of us neighborhood kids playing baseball each day. Sometimes we had races with our bikes. Other days it was so hot we just sat around talking about life until we heard the familiar music of Mr. Softee, everyone’s favorite ice cream truck. After dinner when it began to get dark in the late hours, we would play ninja which was essentially hide and seek in teams. Our biggest problems were the disagreements we had over a call against a team or just too much togetherness. We figured out how to solve it ourselves.
For many years, there wasn’t another girl besides me so I just joined in playing whatever the boys played. Eventually I would not be the only one which lead to some amazing best friends.
Our childhood in the neighborhood is one I look back on with joy and pride. We were all good friends and took care of each other.
Years later, the dynamics would change. Some would go off to high school and not have time for the others. A few would move away. Others just stopped talking to each other.
Life just kind of happened scattering us in all directions where there was no time to play anymore.
Recently, I found myself back in the old neighborhood. I walked onto that baseball field that no longer resembled what I knew. Taking a deep breath, I looked around and could almost hear the cheers of us all shouting out to each other and flying around on our bikes not a care in the world. Many times, I find myself missing my childhood there.
Because of social media, many of us are in contact again. Some of us have kept in touch through the years. Every now and then we will tag each other in something meaningful that only we can get.
I am thankful because when I teach my first graders in writing, I use the stories from my childhood and all the characters in it to get them excited and engaged with every memory I write about.
To this day, I know how lucky I am to have grown up in such a place. All roads of thanks continue to lead home.
This is part of a daily blogging challenge I am participating in for the month of November. This is day 24.