I grew up in a strip of three homes that were adjacent to Small Ct. Small Ct. was a really great place to grow up because there was an ally surrounding the court, and then the court itself, so there was a lot of space to ride bikes. It was also a great place because there were many young families who lived in the court. My friends- Michael, Laura, and Brad all lived in Small Ct. We all attended school together and we all played together. We spent summer days digging in sandboxes, swinging on swings, riding bikes (ok, I was riding mine into things...like cars...but still I rode...), and playing sports. We had a block party where Laura and I showcased our cheer leading skills. I married Brad on an almost daily basis. Timothy and Michael played
bullpen (So, our backyard had a hill on the one side. Tim and Mike would go down to the bottom of the hill and Tim would pitch and Mike would catch. After this, they would come inside, put on the Orioles Magic record and slide around the living room like they were baseball players. And now, you all know. Sorry guys.).
As a child, these kids were my best friends. I think that childhood friends are some of the best friends a person will ever have. Why? Because children are honest. They know nothing of betrayal. They love without reservation. They give everything of themselves. I think that, as friends, we did that for each other. We played. We laughed. We embraced friendship.
By the time I had reached 6th grade all of us had moved on from Small Ct. My family stayed in the same community, just moved to a different street. Some stayed in Maryland, others moved further away. We all took separate paths to adulthood. Through all of that, through relationships, marriages, births, deaths, I like to think that each of us carries a little piece of Small Ct. in our hearts.
I hope that my kids have friends like the ones that I had. I hope that they can savor their childhood. That they can feel safe riding their bikes, or playing catch, or doing whatever is they want to do on a warm summer night. I hope that their friends' parents will treat them as their own, just as the Heslins, Pyatts, and Dyjaks treated me and my brother. Those years on Small Ct. were very special.
So, today, I throw it back to Small Ct.
To my childhood.