Sophie's summer house
Seems to be that every time a room is thoroughly cleaned around here I hear little voices saying "my house". Thankfully, the voices are real people and not in my head.
I don't know what the draw is for my kids to claim a house, but it was the same when my sister Wendy and I lived with my dad in New York for a summer when we were younger. I think we were around the ages of 8 and 10 years old.
He has a large hill at the back of his house that used to be covered in shrubs, blackberry bushes and large to small trees. There was a particular apple tree on that hill that Wendy and I *lived in*. The tree was one of the knobby, thick barked trees with scraggly big branches. There was a branch that ran about 4 feet high straight out from the tree that any young girl would look at and know it was a floor in a house. We did. There were weeds covering the ground under that tree that we stomped down for the bottom floor of our house. We were so hidden in that tree off of the main path up the hill that it was like our own secret garden spot.
When I took my kids back there for their first time this past October the tree was still standing. When I looked at that tree on a now cleared hill I saw it as a little 10 year old girl again; full of possibilities and my little sisters voice beside me whispering what we need to bring here for lunch and which one of us gets which *floor* to live in for the day, the bees buzzing in the field next to us and the muggy air of an Northeastern summer day clinging to my little girl skin.