I dance in the grass, my favorite twirlie dress flowing around my young legs. Each blade of grass tickles my toes as it squishes under my feet. I run and leap, awkwardly, in the air. I land and fall, my dress fluttering behind and under me. I get up and do it all again.
I sing to the tree behind our fence. Loudly. Out of tune. To a beat of my own. The lyrics never rhyme but I sing anyway. I sing of stars and sunshine and flowers.
I splash in the pool, watching the water slosh to each side. It’s almost big enough for me to dip my head under the water and count to ten without hitting the walls. I dunk under and start counting. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. ... My sister comes out to play and I whine. I know there will not be enough room now for dunking and counting. At least she’s always good for splashing.
I pump my legs on the swing, higher higher, reaching until I can see the backyard four houses down. I don’t risk taking my hands of the chain until I can estimate the jump to the ground and I let… go… one.. two.. threee…..
These are memories as real as ice cream and summer and sunshine and backyards.
This weekend my daughter did something amazing: She went to her room and danced by herself. She played with her dolls and sang, loudly and out of tune, all alone.
She grows up and I remember more. I understand both sides of the fence a little better now, though not totally. I think I never will.
I glance in the mirror and I stop dead in my tracks: Who is this? Who is this mom of two? Business Owner? Wife?
I turn and sing, loudly, out of tune, to my own beat and realize one day, all too soon, she will be looking back, too. I hope her memories are just as whimsical.