The yard was modestly arrayed with a busy street out front hosting a large walnut tree in the front yard with crab apple trees lining the side of the drive way. The backyard, the hideout, was a place for a young child to search and find adventure. Growing up with three younger brothers in this small fenced in backyard, we had everything. We had a hideout that was a place for us to find our wild side and be louder than our parents could tolerate. There we could even get away with throwing sand which later became a problem in the swimming pool.
Blue Spruce trees guard the entrance to my children’s yard. Our yard is not fenced in but partially wooded. They play football there, and there is not a weekend that they would not wish their hideout to be filled with a new game going. With the cousins playing, they can create the bare bones of their favorite rival football teams. They are crazed Madden players, and in their hideout, they do their best to try not to tackle during their game. When they were younger, they would also stretch the boundaries in their free zone. The age gaps between them, were so large that a stolen tackle would leave someone in emotional alligator tears only to quickly resume their dearly loved game.
It was in my backyard that I began a love with my three brothers for softball. We threw, batted, and ran the bases like pros in our own minds. Even though, none of us would ever grow to become baseball players. We all thought we were José Canseco and loved the game more and more together. In remembering this hideout, I remember my dad even joining our sport and having him help us in our pitching and our aim. I could tell he must have enjoyed a space like ours and that being a catcher younger grew his love of the game.
The closer I come to my children’s backyard, I remember my own backyard not smaller but just as big. There I see like my own life that the rules, expectations, and responsibilities seem to roll off my children’s frames. It is almost as if outside you are allowed to be as youthful and energetic as you want to be. The warm energy of the sun and the beauty of nature beg of you to be yourself and to enjoy what is there.