I’m sitting in my parents’ backyard, watching my nephew shoot some hoops. Mom never changes. He said he wanted to come outside to play, but she wouldn’t let him because she couldn’t watch him. She’s working on dinner. Mom was always like that. My brother and I could never do a thing unless we were being well-supervised, preferably by her. No one could watch us better than she did, of course. She’s always been such a great mom.

It’s always weird coming back here. Obviously, I don’t spend much time here anymore. I remember how big this yard once seemed and how Mom would warn me not to go past the garage. Then I’d be too close to the alley and who knew who or what could be lingering back there. Again, she always sided with caution. I was never afraid, though. I read too many books and figured there was too much to imagine, too many spaces to explore, and too many adventures to experience to be held back by fear. Those were the first lessons that books taught me.

I want to be that little girl again. I want to renew my sense of adventure. Not only that, but I want the promise of a bright, long future back. I want to have endless possibilities in front of me. I want to be fearless.

My nephew is giving his own play-by-play as he shoots… Where did my own imagination and idealism go?

I also remember spending hour upon hour with my dogs out here. Running around and making them do tricks. Although, I’m not in school anymore, I can still enjoy the company of animals. I can’t give up on them. They are still my life.

Being here is nice. Just another thing that I probably needed without even realizing it. I even got a good laugh. Why on earth would my parents get such a lawnmower? They crack me up!


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