Maybe any of us who had a decent childhood would always find ourselves fond of the dirt on which we were raised.
I think yes, I would.
We, the people of this earth, could have a vacant lot those years we lived in town. There could be families such as the Hollands, the Baileys, the Moreheads, the Dabbs, the Purvis's, the Fletchers, the Chathams, the Weems, the Martins, the Bennetts and the Fettingers. We could have a nice fenced in backyard with a basketball goal and dirt packed up under it. You could find kids walking, riding bikes, flying through the air.
There is a tale of a four year old, or was he three, that may have stolen some mail. Marlee, this would never have been your Dad. wink. wink.
Don't worry Slater has a mother who spent at least one summer using the riding lawnmower as a go cart. That thing was making some moves over those speed bumps.
There were dogs and cats and girls and boys. There were evenings of screams of Come in. Supper. And though we found we could have made that next jump we would walk back to our homes in a lazy conversation. We would plan a production, have sleepovers, go to the same school.
Fifth grade we had a building all our own and we could walk on a trail through some woods. Everyday then seemed like an adventure. If we could find a vine, we'd swing. A puddle, we'd belly flop. A hill. Who is the fastest kid around? Funny now how I don't remember since it seemed so important then.
Here in my hometown now I know that what we had were lessons of how to get along with one another, what sharing was about, whose yard was it tonight and that Ben could cry if he saw blood coming out of a deep gash across his friend's face. Strange now how I remember that as my shining moment, his tears a natural pain reliever.
I was a mean kid always ready for a competition. He cried. I didn't.
Today I am grateful to have finally learned how to be kind and know it is never too late to start. Someone said if we ever expected forgiveness we'd have to forgive ourselves first. Maybe that's right.