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Tears and Laughter–Amanda Walker, June 28th ’16

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Tears and Laughter
Amanda – Sixteen

I can just be walking by, not even thinking about it particularly, when it stops me cold.
And otherwise, I do okay I think.
I mean, it crosses my mind sometimes when I pass through the dining room and notice how nice the table looks. There is a runner down the center that matches the walls and trim, but for years the table served as “Lego City.”
He would spend hours in there building, and I guess I didn’t have the heart to tell him to tear it all apart.
There were houses and stores. There was a church and an arcade. He built cars and a ship and a helicopter. He would play while I would cook supper most every evening.
From the kitchen, I could hear him. And if I looked through the door into the dining room, I could see him, his little blonde head bowed, lost in his world of play.
Those days, those afternoons, were some of the best days of my life. They aren’t coming back, but I am grateful I had them.
So I was not bothered when out of nowhere one day he decided it was time to put Lego City away.
I see it in boxes every year in the attic when I climb over them during my annual trip up there to bring down Christmas lights and decorations. It doesn’t stop me when I see them…but, I remember.
He used to hunt for Bigfoot too. He would organize hunts with his friends. They would plan and strategize and leave chocolate chip cookies for bait within their homemade traps of string. They would escape into their adventure in the edge of the woods, yet still well within safe sight of the house.
But again, seemingly out of nowhere, he just stopped one day, just like he had once given up on ever catching the tooth fairy.
It was the same way with wanting to camp out in the backyard. Summer after summer this was his game. Campfire after campfire, a million memories made, and then one night he was successful.
He didn’t come in sometime after midnight like he had all the times before. He slept the entire night in his tent, waking to the sun being out and the back porch light still shining.
I was even okay that while all of this was happening, he went from being this little guy I could sweep up in my arms and spin around, to being able to stand beside me and rest his chin on top of my head.
By the end of summer he will have his driver’s license.
There is a set of keys on his dresser just waiting.
And as much as a mother can be, I guess I’m okay with that too.
But it’s always those innocent size 2T t-shirts just hanging there on their racks in stores that stop me cold sometimes. I can’t help but reach and touch them…like time hasn’t passed right on by.

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