When I think of childhood I think of course of the neighborhood where I lived from birth to age eight. Even though the majority of my life and even really the majority of my childhood was spent in another city, it’s the first 8 years that I think about. I think that’s because those first years are when you’re really a little kid. After that you’re still a kid to be sure, but you’re accountable now, you aren’t allowed to be little and without any responsibility anymore.
The street was a cu de sac and we lived about in the middle of it. Our yard had a big evergreen tree in the front with two apple trees in front and to the side of it. For a long time there were bushes lining the yard, but eventually my mom took them out. Across the street from our house was our neighbor and friend Christopher’s house and right next to his house were the mail boxes. Real mailboxes mind you, not the lame ones we have now where you need a key to open it.
Christopher’s driveway sloped up and was a hill that as a child seemed to be huge. At the edge of his yard was a bush that we would hid in and play army in. A house or two up the street was Elizabeth, she had a purple door for some strange reason and the jerk once stole my pokemon cards. Down a house or two was Grant’s friend Daniel and next to him was the Russian house where they kept chickens.
Somewhere in that area, down by Daniel and the Russian house was Brad. Ugh, Brad. He would always invite himself over to our house and my mom would always make us let him in. I don’t remember what ended up happening to him but eventually he moved or something. At the end of the cul du sac was Zach’s house. Zach was an… interesting guy and Austin never liked him, especially after I fell out of the big evergreen tree in his yard. For some reason Zach also seemed to think that the woods off to the side of his house belonged to him and no one else was allowed to use them.
We would play a lot in the street, mostly army and power rangers and we would ride bikes, mostly down Christopher’s crazy hill of a driveway. Occasionally we would play baseball or kickball or something that needed bases. There was a sewer grate in the middle of the street between our house and Christopher’s that would always be home plate. We would jump on the trampoline of the Russian boy whose name now I cannot remember for the life of me and go into the woods behind Daniel’s house and to behind our house. The neighborhood kids liked to break off spongy sticks, burn the ends, put them in their mouth and pretend that they were smoking.
It seems like the middle of the street, where we lived was the best place to be. Up the street was Elizabeth who I’m pretty sure I never forgave for stealing my pokemon cards and older people who we didn’t really know and towards the end of the street was where Zach and Brad lived and if you were going to get in trouble it was probably down at that end.