Saturday, August 2, 2008

Me and My Shadow...........

Sometimes as I walk through this old house something will trigger a could be a smell or something quickly glimpsed out of the corner of my eye or something uttered by my 12 year old. No, its never a residual memory of the house; it is always a memory of my childhood coming back for a moment to give me a smile. Or maybe, once in a while a memory triggers a grimace.

Summer is at its mid-term and Hunter is beginning to get bored with the lazy, unstructured days; boredom manifests itself in mutterings of "there's nothing to do" or "I need a new game". Often, when I hear these things, I am transported back to the days of raising Nikki and Dallas, but every now and then, I remember my own long, lazy summers.

Back in the day, I had a shadow. His name was Kirk, or Tick, or even one time "buck toothed rabbit" (said in anger over something to do with our afternoon in a tree house!). Being Air Force Brats who seemed to move at the drop of a hat, I think we siblings were closer then most others....after all, any friend we may make would soon hear our goodbyes and "so longs"....the only real constant in a military kid's life was their own siblings.

Five years younger than me, Kirk was called "Lori's Shadow" by our neighbors in Massillon Ohio. Seldom was he not tagging along behind me on a bike ride or a walk to the creek to wade or to the corn field to steal the unripened sweet corn that we loved to eat. In those days, we could pack a lunch, get on our bikes and just take off for the day; it was a safer world to live in back then.

There were other children to play with, but there were times when we simply didn't want to hang with off we went. Unless Kirk was just simply too young for the activity, he tagged along....the only real memories I have of his not being there beside me were the times we went to a pond to ice skate or when we helped to load the barn with bailed hay for the farmer down the street.

There were times that I resented his being one summer day when a friend and I were riding our bikes to the school for some reason and Kirk wanted to come along. My friend and I raced our bikes just as fast as we could go to deliberately leave him behind. But even then, I was checking over my shoulder constantly to be sure my shadow was still there, to be certain he was safe. During one of those backwards glances, I watched as he fell off his bike right in the center of the heart fell to my feet and I turned the bike - racing back to him - screaming at the top of my lungs in anger and frustration and yes, in fear.

Most of the time, I loved having him tag along with me. He was my brother; he loved me despite all the times I resented his presence, he was my constant. As the years passed and we grew up and went off in our different directions, we maintained a great deal of that closeness but today, we seldom see each other. Sometimes, like today, when something tugged at my memory....I don't know what really...a glimpse out of the corner of my eye, his remaking of a song he recorded years ago, or just Hunter's lack of companionship here on this little piece of land.....anyway, something tugged at my memory and made me miss my little shadow.........

Love you Tick!

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