There are so many memories in the patchwork of my childhood. Last night I was thinking of the one summer I spent playing kick the cup (cans were apparently too dangerous) almost every evening with the other kids in the neighborhood. Not the snooty family that lived down on one end of the culdesac, but some of the older boys and some of the girls who seemed more bold, more exciting than I was. I look back on those evenings, remembering how long they stretched before darkness started to fall and the fireflies started to make themselves known. We would hide in the trees and the bushes, making our frantic run back to the stump where the cup was kept. It was almost a sacred place, that stump, and we would kick the cup and run some more. I was a fast runner, but not as fast as the bigger boys. But I was good at being “it,” good at finding people, so it didn’t much matter. As I was younger than most everyone else, I’m not sure that I fully grasped the rules, but I was excited to be included in their games and to get to play in new backyards with new hiding places.
I don’t remember any of their names, and I didn’t play with them again after that summer. But I still look back on those long hot evenings and feel . . . happy. Warm. Included.