When I was little I lived in a neighborhood that we called the block. The block consisted of a mile (ish) loop with 2 "shortcut" streets that went through the middle. Most of the houses with kids were on our side of the block and we would all hang out together. We would often go on adventures. Most of which took place in the wilds of our backyards. It's amazing how creative kids can be when you give them some woods and a garden of many edible plants. Granted the other neighborhood children thought it was really weird that the Perkins kids ate all those weeds. I loved it. I felt so wild and free, living off the land.
I remember once that my mom took us to this lady's house for a field trip of sorts and she taught us all the wild plants that you could eat. I also, remember that she had a gazebo/greenhouse thing with a fish pond in it. Very cool. At the end of the day we had a big meal of the things we had found we could eat. The one that made the biggest impression were some fried flowers.
One of the families with kids in the neighborhood lived way down our side of the block. Almost around the curve to the other side. Twins, Steven and Jimmy, that were a few years older than me. Jimmy was the nice one. We would play with them all the time, up until they went to high school. Then playing with a 6-7th grader wasn't fun anymore I guess. On one of my more grand far from home adventures, I rode my bike up the hill and into the field behind S and J's house. It seemed like such a big hill and like I was miles from home. I reality I was probably about .5 to .75 miles from my house. We would go flying down, holding our feet up in the air so they wouldn't get tangled in the spinning peddles of our bikes. I was super excited when I found some wild cabbage at the top of the hill and of course ate some. I got the usual "there she is eating weeds again" look from the twins. I didn't mind. I felt so grown up and free, being so far from home, riding my bike way too fast, and living off the land. I could handle anything.
We made this awesome hotel in the woods behind my other neighbors house that we played in for hours and hours. We had several lovely rooms.
My family used to have a leaf raking business when we were kids. We each got a cut, the older more hard working children getting more of course. We had quite a few clients. I'm not sure if we didn't have anywhere to dump them or something but at one point we ended up with a mountain of bags of leaves in our back yard. It was huge. We all got some blankets and homey items and built ourselves rooms out of bags of leaves. It was awesome. We sent quite some time of there.
I loved visiting old people. I always felt more at ease with older people when I was young. When I was 4ish, we lived in Mount Olive and I would visit the little old lady next door, but only after her soaps were off. On the block I had a favorite, Mr. Williams. He was a sweet old man in his 70s. The coolest things about him was the fact that he had this amazing old truck he was working on his in backyard, which he parked over a pit so he could easily get at the underneath. I wasn't aloud to get very close to it because he was afraid I would fall in but I peaked once and saw that he could totally stand up in there without hitting his head on the truck. I wondered how he got so lucky to live in a house with a pit perfect to fix his truck already in the back yard. It blew my little mind when I found out he had dug it himself. It was like he was Superman to me after that. I would go visit him several times a week. I hope it never annoyed him. I like to think it didn't. When I was in college, I was home for the weekend and went for a run and saw him checking his mail. He knew immediately I was a Perkins. What can I say, we have a look. He stopped me and asked about the family. I told him everyone was well. Then, he stopped, stared me right in the face, and asked what sweet little Megan was up to. I smiled and told him I was Megan and was home visiting from college. He teared up and reached out to give me a hug. It was one of the sweet moments in life. I will never forget it.
I loved adventuring. By the time I was Isa's age I had several great ones under my belt. The freedom we had as kids was amazing. The moments that stand out. The things that come to you first when you think about growing up.
Does Isa even have those? What are they about? Will they be things she tells her therapist when she is older that helped her grow or tore her down? What will she remember?