The dog days of summer are in full force.
Outside, the temperature is hot, but the humidity makes it hot and sticky.
We spend a lot of our day inside.
Jane and the other Little Nies are making a movie about skin-walkers,
an eerie urban legend told to them by Mr. Nielson, who swears
he met a few of these guys as a youth in the high country of Arizona.
My children have been enthralled by this myth, and it has
inspired Jane to make a movie. She's put together
scripts and auditions for the neighborhood kids.
Fake blood, masks, and costumes are taking over my kitchen.
I hope this movie gets done before school begins in a few weeks.
Mostly I am just so glad Jane isn't too cool to still be a kid.
She's holding on to her last moments of childhood and
innocence. She turns 16 in February.
Often she reminds me of the good creative version of the
pied-piper; leading the neighborhood children
behind her with her unruly red hair.
My brother Topher was the same way.
He was making movies with us even after he was married.
He would pick out costumes, give out parts, and make
up incredible special effects.
(See below: a roll and pickle floating in mid-air
in front of my face...how DID he do it?).
His camera skills were magic, and I worshiped him as a child.
Oh man, if I could go back to 1987 when I was six years old
making movies with my siblings and cousins.
We'd sleep on the trampoline every night,
go swimming every day and wander the neighborhood and the
foothills behind our house.
Most of the time, Mom didn't even know where I was.
And that wasn't bad- it was just the 80's in my neck of the woods.
Most importantly, I always felt safe and loved.
Often times I look at these videos and photos of me back then and sigh
because SO much will change, and my chubby little face doesn't know it.
My fantastic brother Topher is now in a wheelchair, mainly relying on others
for his care. Physically I am much different now too.
But really, we are the same and always will be.
Our bodies don't define who we are and what we can be.
This life on earth is just a blink of an eye considering eternity,
but still, so much depends on the choices
and actions we make and face here and now.
And I believe we can control that among our pain and trials,
and Topher is doing that; I hope I am too.
I am trying to teach that to my children every day.
And I can only hope and pray my children
have a childhood like I did
(minus the bowl cut).
I look back, and I feel like everything had glitter on it because
it indeed was magical, happy, safe, and filled with good feelings
faith, God, and family- all the time.
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