Monday, August 03, 2009

Summer 2009

Lil and her pal Elena from across the street got in some desperate summer play today.

Tomorrow Elena won't be home, and the next day ... school starts.

They played in the garage and on the front lawn, then on the back patio, then in Lil's room, then out front again, then in back again, and then in Lil's room, and then out front. They had fun, they had drama; they had sun and then shade. They had a beautifully mild summer day with a sweet breeze, and Sebastian and Howie to play with them.

Born only a few weeks apart, sometimes I hear them play at being sisters.

I wonder often what they would have been like as friends if they had grown up in the kind of world I did. At seven, Lili's and Elena's parents and siblings worry about them crossing our wide street, because utter morons fly along at 45 mph on a regular basis, slurping canned drinks and talking on cell phones, oblivious (or far too self-important to take notice) of the 25 mph limit. When I was seven, Carol Jan and I ranged around our small town on our bikes in the summer (not down town, of course, but everywhere on the east side of town) and we kids spent mornings at the municipal playground, went home for some lunch, then went back to the playground until 5pm, at which point we played in the street or on the sidewalks -- or other kid's houses until dark.

The eyes of every resident in the community were upon us kids, all the time. But it was a town of 1000, and the biggest town in the whole county. People were poor, mostly, and we townies had it real soft compared to the kids on farms outside of town, who worked on their parents' dairies and chicken farms and fields.

Oh well. It was a different planet I lived on then, and it was blown away by "progress" as surely as Superman's home world Krypton fell to destruction. My Home Planet is gone, and Lillian must make her way in this world, however inimicable it may be. How she will grow up is anyone's guess.

That her summer "ends" on August 5th is another post, and it will be a venomous, bitter one.

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