Do you remember what it was like to be a kid? I'm talking back before knowing how to drive and sweating begging parents for gas money. I'm talking back before the drama of junior high where today's best friend is tomorrow's arch-enemy. I'm talking about back when you imagined that play grounds were castles that needed storming, and jungle gyms were pirate ships.
Remember what it was like to find entertainment out of a stick and a pile of leaves? How about thinking that paper airplanes were the coolest toys on the planet and wanting nothing more than making a better one than your buddy?
I laid in the grass at a city park today and just listened to the sounds of my son playing with other children, and remembered it all like a surreal dream. I stared up into an evergreen tree and watched the green needles grow out from the brown branches and heard young imaginations in action as an eavesdropper would.
There is no Peter Pan in me now. I can occasionally dredge up enough youthful exuberance to chase my kid and climb on the playground, but it's no longer a castle needing storming. Now it's an organized pile of metal and bolts and ropes and I envy the days when I could traverse it like a monkey in a tree.
Being an adult is depressing. Not so much the responsibilities... bills, time management, savings, balancing a budget, grocery shopping... but the loss of youth. The desperate attempts to reclaim the little girl that played with toy horses and imagined herself riding real ones across the countryside end up as reminiscing old memories and nothing more.
As the blue sky floated overhead, occasionally sending eastward silky threads of what might eventually become a puffy cirrus cloud, I lay there listening to my child play, hoping he does a better job of containing Peter Pan than I did.