You’ve taken your own sweet time this year, haven’t you? Please, I’m not trying to make you feel guilty, just stating the facts. Besides, I only mentioned it because of our past together…
I’ve missed you.
In all honesty, some of the best memories of my life were fashioned with you. Do you remember the time you took advantage of my trusting nature and subtly hinted that dirt was good to eat? You lied, but I forgave you.
Or the time we spent together, I curled up on our wooden swing, my dirty, bare foot swinging carelessly, apple clutched in one hand, half-forgotten, my eyes roving over a tale of adventure, and your beaming face peeping over my shoulder…sound familiar?
Do you remember – surely you do – the time I set out to conquer the tall, stiff-faced pine in our backyard? Noting that I needed something to mark such an accomplishment, you suggested making a flag to hang from its tamed branches. I did, you hanging over my shoulder, chuckling companionably at the heading: “Excelsior!” We celebrated together, you, I, and our banner at the (almost) very top.
Do you recall the days carelessly spent in the dazzling waves of our pool? It was really yours, since we could only bring it out when you were with us, but you kindly loaned it, smiling benevolently as we splashed, and screamed, and lounged, and savored popsicles in the cool water.
How about the time we decided to dig a hole in the back yard? I don’t think we honestly thought that one through, but about six by six feet later, we agreed that it was great fun, and spent the rest of your short life span making it bigger and better. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think we even used the conquered pine tree to rappel to the very bowels of the earth, arriving at the bottom, perhaps (in my brother’s case) missing a few belt loops, but victorious.
Do you remember all the different games we played? Kickball, baseball, soccer, basketball, football – at least until our playmates grew too large. Our mutual agreement stated that six foot was far too ginormous with which to be messing about. Tennis, we agreed, was far safer.
The trampoline – you remember, don’t you? It was the hubcap of all our play. If we needed a safe haven during tag, there it waited, a veritable bulwark in the time of storm. Bored? Not for long; the trampoline encouraged new games: frogger, crack-the-egg, blind dog, crocodile. When we, hot and breathless (but not too hot, dear), clambered onto the burning, bouncy part and turned the hose on – oh, it was sheer bliss. Slipping back and forth, water droplets streaming from our eyes, nose, and hair, we finally collapsed in individual heaps and stared up at the sky, replete and content. You enjoyed it too, I think, but in your own, quiet way.
I have missed you.