As a girl growing up in the nineteen s… Hmmm. Okay, starting over.
I grew up in a time when cell phones and iPads were the stuff of science fiction. Computer games weren’t necessary when you had a jump rope, a ball and jax, a sled in the winter, or even just yourself, for a rousing game of Red Rover. People didn’t feel the need to lock their doors then, the milkman still delivered, and the streetlight coming on was the universal announcement it was time to head home for the night—unless you had a talent for wheedling your parents into granting a few more minutes for one last game of hide and seek.
I lived with my parents and seven siblings on Bayfield Road, a tree lined way in the small town of Saugus, Massachusetts. Families, with kids of all ages, occupied three quarters of the homes on our street. The neighborhood was a child’s wonderland. Every day ended on dragging feet, sweaty and filthy from head to foot, yet full of exhausted pleasure at having spent the last hours racing through unfenced yards, giggling with friends while desperately avoiding becoming ‘It’.
There was only one dark cloud over Bayfield Road. Unfortunately, he lived across the street. You know the guy. He lives in every neighborhood. The cranky dragon who snarls at children, and tends a lawn that belongs on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens.
I asked my father once, why the man was so mean. His words stuck with me and I’ve long since passed them on to my kids to help them deal with their own cranky dragons.
“It’s not his fault,” Dad said, “He’s just forgotten what it was like to be young.”
As the holidays arrive, and life gets crazy, it’s easy to lose sight of the joy, and the reason, for the season. Cranky dragons pop up all over.
This year, I have much for which to be thankful. Another year of survival, a gorgeous new grandson, and—here’s the shameless plug—my first publication, Gift of the Realm, is fast approaching release.
I’m not sure they sell ball and jax anymore, and in Phoenix a sled is useless. As for the jump rope, forget it. I’d probably break a hip! But I continue to hold fast to my vow, never to become a dragon.
My friends, my wish for you this season of joy ~ May you never forget what it was like to be young.
Trouble posting comments? Click on comments at the top of the post.