Scamp and I invading sister Patti’s bed on a Saturday morning.
Our first day of school. I believe I was seven and she was eleven.
Our sisterly school photo. I was in the first grade. She was in the fourth. I inherited that dress!
It’s my big sister’s birthday today. We won’t mention ages, but suffice it to say that she was always four years ahead of me in everything except birthdays, because mine has been happening six days before hers ever since I was born. Happy birthday to my dear sister who always has my back.
Sitting up past midnight, we search our mind for facts, parting long grasses of the past for long-forgotten pacts of secrets kept from parents and long-forgotten games: “New Orleans” and “Send ‘Em” *. We comb our minds for names.
Of talents left to childhood, like flips off monkey bars. Adventures dreamed on rooftops and the back seats of cars. Favorite childhood dresses and jokes pulled on our folks. Afternoons in Mack’s Cafe, sipping on our Cokes.
Hot beef sandwiches at Fern’s and running up the stairs to avoid Mom’s fly swatter aimed at our derrieres. Childhood dramas staged in trees or in our backyard lawn. Teenage slumber parties that stretched out into dawn.
We journey through old albums, searching photos for any tiny detail that will open up a door. Each time I come to visit, we remember a bit more on these safaris of the mind that we both adore.
*These are the names of childhood games. Did anyone else play them?