Summers Past

Erika - 52317
Entered on April 30, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: gratitude, place
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Running through the sprinklers, the cool spray hitting my sun-warmed skin, I relished the long summer days spent in the year 1999 at that daycare center in Dallas. The tiny brick building with a small fenced patch of grass in the back & an old wooden playset in the front was a truly a sight. Mornings were spent hurling bowling balls at the pins in the alley or diving into the chlorine-blue water of the YWCA, and lazy afternoons consisted of a graham cracker snack time and long bouts of video gaming. Each night I would fall asleep with a smile & reminisce about the activities that never quite happened the same way when we went back and did them again. At the end of the summer, when the big silver jeep rolled over the gravel to pick me up, a wave of sadness swept over me as I realized that in a short time I would be back at school, to those narrow hallways & that flood of plaid uniforms engulfing me like seawater…

Little did I know, that summer would be the last that I would spend at that daycare, & in Dallas. I remember sitting in the living room of our small apartment with the gray worn-out carpet when my dad said, “We’re going to move to Iowa.” I wondered whether I would ever see my friends again and braced for the difficulty of fitting into a new school, a new life, a new world. That moment was my greatest memory of feeling disconnected with my life. It was just that morning that I had chased my friends through the old brick building & fought with the older kids for the video game controller. Now I would lose all of that.

Fast forward to December of ’06. I’m back in that same building, 7 years later, standing in that same room where I spent the best summers of my life. The old record player is still there, the ripped yellow couch is still there, but there’s something missing: us. We had all split up. The last year I was there was the last year the day camp was held. It was then I realized that you can never have a moment back in your childhood, or a moment back in your life. That is why you must take in every detail of your life and appreciate it for what it is. This I Believe.