Stretched out in the back of my mom’s Jeep Cherokee, head on a pillow I’d brought from home, reading a book, six hours into the eight hour drive to my grandparents’ house, and looking up and seeing the tall, Southern pines, realizing we were close.
Laying on the slide of my swing set upside down watching the clouds and daydreaming about riding my pony across the country.
Getting up as dawn was breaking on chilly autumn mornings to shoo the cold frogs off the driveway so they didn’t get squished into flat froggy shapes by my Dad’s truck as he left out early for work.
Walking into a new classroom full of kids I didn’t know… again… and never being concerned about making new friends.
Drawing elaborate treehouse designs, some of which included a spiral staircase, for the old oak tree in the front yard that were never built.
Curling up against my grandfather and enjoying the roughness of his shirt against my cheek and the way he always smelled like the forest.
Dressing up the cat in my doll’s clothes and wheeling her and her kittens around in baby carriage, much to my parent’s amusement.
Pretending I was a ballerina by dancing to classical music in my room while wearing my frilliest nightgown.
Accidentally running into the electric fence that kept the horses out of the garden… again… because I wasn’t looking where I was going… again.
Sliding down the wide wooden banister at church in my good Sunday dress when my mother wasn’t around because the boys told me I couldn’t manage it.
Climbing the old dogwood tree in the back yard and wondering how long I’d be able to stay up there before I was missed.
Thinking that summer would last forever and that Christmas would never come and that being old enough to drive was an eternity away.