Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Treehouse Memories

I want text you so much that I'm fighting back tears... and I've never texted you before in my life.

It happened during those early hours of the morning when it feels like my son wants to cram in way too many activities while I'm still half asleep. This time, he built a creation out of Legos that kind of looked like a treehouse.  As he yelled, "Treehouse!" over and over in a melodic way...  a moment from the early 90s hit me like a truck.

We're sitting in your childhood home, booting up your DOS computer to play THE TREEHOUSE.  I can't say that I remember the actual gameplay almost 30 years later, but the theme song resurfaces in my brain like I heard it last week:

 🎵 "Hanging out... at the Treehouse!  Hanging out... at the Treehouse!"  🎵

I wish I could text and ask you if you remember that game. I feel like you would, and you'd probably remember way more details than I do.  

I'd also ask if you remembered playing that "Are You Afraid of the Dark" game that I don't think you really liked, but that you'd agree to play because *I* wanted to play it (and be terrified by it at the same time.) Or I'd ask if you remember that game where we were supposed to be surgeons and follow directions to do medical procedures?  ("Life and Death" or something like that?) My strongest memory of that computer game is when you jokingly carved your name into the patient's forehead and then the game called you a "quack" and we lost.  

I'd like to imagine us making each other "LOL" via text message this morning. 

To be honest, I just like to imagine that we'd still be friends.  

I got together with some of our mutual friends from high school the other day.  I masked up, and took my kids to a park to play with their kids.  (The four of us have 9 kids now, can you believe that?) Would you have been there if you could have been?  Would the kids have been excited to see "silly Aunt Jess?" Would they have begged you to chase them around and growl like a monster? 

It feels odd to miss you during my current season of motherhood, seeing as you were never a mother yourself.  I don't really even remember you babysitting. It's also so strange to have this longing to text you (because it's hard to find a quiet moment to talk on the phone these days) when I didn't even own a cell phone until about 8 months after you passed away.

But in the 17 years since you've been gone, I've learned to let the emotions come.  The happy, the sad, and even the ones that don't really make sense.  Today, I'll build Lego creations with my son.  I'll do a load (or two) of tiny laundry.  I'll put your photo on Facebook and let other people see your face and remember you in their own way.  

And I'll miss our carefree days of hanging out "at the treehouse" a little bit more than usual.   

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