Did you grow up on a street like mine?
My street was amazing.
Every house was like a puzzle piece.
Each family inside had it's own unique shape.
Their own rules.
Their own expectations.
Their own way of living.
Each one different yet we fit together perfectly.
You could always tell who was outside because somewhere on the street you could find their bike-thrown haphazardly to the ground.
A kickball lingering on the side of the road.
Ball gloves piled on the large rocks in front of my house.
It wasn't unusual for our parents to drive home and interrupt a game of kickball.
Or to find us wandering the endless trails looping through the woods across the street.
Some lead to our clubhouse- a clearing in the shape of a circle.
Some lead to the creek.
Some lead to a large field that touched the edge of a busy street.
We would be outside for hours with no worries from our parents about where we were or what we were doing.
We put on plays, we sold lemonade, we camped out under the stars (although I can't remember actually making it through the night).
It wasn't always rays of sunshine of course.
We fought, we argued, we tattled on each other, we cheated at games, we ganged up on each other, we picked favorites, we made each other cry.
Last week I attended the visitation of one of the boys I grew up with on this street. With his passing, it has made me question just how normal my childhood was.
It is hard for me to imagine anyone growing up any different from me. Now that I am older, with kids, I realize how special my neighborhood was.
A piece of our puzzle is now missing but it's place is held firmly in our hearts. We will all hold vivid memories of good times, good people, good families and those never ending games of kickball.