When I was a kid, I grew up in a neighborhood chock full of boys. We lived on the outskirts of a town that wasn’t exactly bursting with things to do, so we mainly just stayed within the confines of the neighborhood. And that meant that if I wanted friends, I’d have to get my hands dirty… which is why I wound up doing things like peeing in the snow and eating dirt. (We also had this particularly violent game that we just called “Rose,” named for the neighbors’ puppy who bit people indiscriminately. They also had an electric fence that enclosed their backyard in a perfect square. We would all line up on one side, just out of Rose’s reach as she paced back and forth, growling. We would then yell “3… 2… 1… GO!” and then sprint to the other side. If you got bit by Rose and shed blood, you were out. If there was no blood, you could keep going. Last one standing was the winner. We had to add the blood amendment because Rose was terrifyingly efficient, or maybe just a bloodthirsty monster; as soon as we all took off, it was all teeth and fur.)
Sometimes I miss childhood a little bit. I miss the age of Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Ghostbusters, Mario Kart, and forts made out of couch cushions. I don’t miss eating dirt, but I miss the “if you think I’m not gonna eat this dirt on a triple dog dare then you, sir, are sadly mistaken” aspect of it all. I miss sledding into trees to see who could get the most badass scar. I miss catching snapping turtles. I miss getting bit by snapping turtles. I miss rollerblading into mailboxes. I miss being able to screw up.
Something about being away from home makes you miss childhood. Not too much. A little bit, though. Just enough.