I love a cool treehouse, don’t you? I’m sure it’s the kid in me. To have a place where you can run away and think your thoughts…maybe share with a best friend…hurts, dreams, fears, hopes…just life…up above the world, away from the mess…for a little while. I get nostalgic about treehouses.
I know where this comes from: the childhood memory of excitement and fear, the fun of hide-n-seek.
I don’t have an older brother, but I do have an older sister. I was the little one who was always in her way. I tagged along whenever I could, but she always let me know I was a pest. I played with dolls. She was a tomboy. I was loud and said embarrassing things. She was quiet and never did anything wrong. Although we are Irish twins (look-alikes and only a year apart) we were(are) quite different. I wanted to be like her. She was the favorite.
When I was a kid, families had dinner parties in their homes, inviting neighbors or close friends. We didn’t have large get togethers, but we would often see one family with three boys.
Joey was the youngest and much too mischievous for me. Denny was in the middle and a brainiac! When he grew up he became a doctor. Jimmy was the oldest and my favorite. He knew I was little and frightened most of the time, but I could always count on him being there. He looked out for me and I felt safe with him.
After dinner our parents would play cards until the early morning and we would play whatever we imagined. But the best times, the times I remember most, were spent at their house. Awww…it was great. You see, they had a treehouse — a two-story with a trap door and deck! It was a dream. We would go up to the treehouse to make our plans for the evening. And often, as the twilight moved to darkness, our favorite game was hide-n-seek.
Being the littlest, and Jimmy being the oldest, I was allowed to partner with him. He could find the best hiding places. I don’t remember being found much. Each time someone came near, I would get so excited it was hard to keep still. Jimmy would put his arms around me and whisper, “Be still or they’ll hear us.” Sometimes I’d start to talk (always the talker) and he would put his hand over my mouth, while placing a finger to his lips. I knew I needed to “hush up” and wait.
Occassionally, we would all go to the movies together. And again, Jimmy looked out for me. Through the crowds I could feel his hands on my shoulders guiding me along. He knew my fear of the dark and was always there, holding my hand, leading me to our seats. It was great.
He was the closest to a big brother I ever had. I didn’t bother him like I did my sister. I mean, I wasn’t any different. I was still little, a talker, and scared…but that was OK when I was with Jimmy. He didn’t care. He just let me, be me. That place of safety, that feeling of being cared about and understood…that’s a good place.
I miss Jimmy.
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. ~Proverbs 18:24