The Unseen Magic of a Childhood Home

Small bits of the sun brighten up my room through the curtains. I guess that’s my cue to get up and open them. 

Yawning, I crawl out of bed and pull down the string. The blinds fly up, revealing an image many people wish they could see. 

Earth, from 141.22 million miles away. That’s right, I live on planet Mars, Earth’s red next-door neighbor and my front yard is a front-row seat to one of the most beautiful sights in the galaxy—the planet you’re on right now.

Wait, no. I live in a forest full of magic. Spitting fire, a dragon stalks my camp, searching for some breakfast with its angry, flaming red eyes. It’s a shame it can’t move around too much, since I’ve already conquered it. Now it’s tied up to a tree—stuck there until I release it. (If it’s lucky.) 

Ooh… actually, I live two thousand years in the future, and my yellow flying machine is right outside my window. When I’m on it, I can feel the rush of wind on my face. When I’m on it, I can touch the sky!

Better yet, I’m a superhero like Batman, and to the right of my window, I can see my super-mobile parked in the driveway. It can get me to any situation faster than you can snap your fingers! I’m never late to save the day—or get to Walmart Pick-Up in time. Oh, and there’s my nemesis now! Testing out his new death ray to take over the world! 

Well…maybe not. But one can pretend, right?

To be honest with you, the image I see outside my window in the morning is not that fantastic. It’s just my front yard, and the ground is green and brown and sometimes yellow or white—not red. Instead of seeing a planet, I see my neighbor’s big greenhouse that towers over our small white one. 

I don’t live in a magical forest, just a small neighborhood. There is no dragon tied to a tree, just my dog—Luna—who barks at everything; ranging from an invisible squirrel to a dog walking by. 

I don’t have a yellow flight machine, just a yellow swing that hangs from an old tree branch in my front yard, that creaks when you go too high. 

The super mobile is really just our car, which always is broken in some way—whether the passenger door won’t open, or it breaks down on our drive to my Dad’s house. My ‘nemesis’ is really just my younger neighbor from up the street, and his ‘death ray’ is just his skateboard. 

It’s all make believe. Not real. 

In a way, though, everything I just pictured is real.

When I’m at school, I’m much quieter. When I’m at home, it’s like I’m on another planet. I rollerblade outside in the driveway and listen to music like everyone else is 141.22 million miles away. I play wall ball and four square with my siblings, doing silly dances and being what many people at my school would call ‘weird.’ At my house, I act differently. My home is different from every other home, like Mars is different from the Earth. Most of the time, I prefer to be in our own little world. 

There may not be dragons, but there sure is a protector of the house: Luna. She can’t breathe fire—thank goodness for that—but she is very cute. We may not be able to cast spells, but my whole house is magical. When we put suckers on the tree in the front yard to make it special for my little brother, it actually started growing sucker-like berries on it after that, almost to make it more real. Albeit bitter sucker-like berries that taste like peaches, but it’s still interesting. And you should see our deck space at night in the summer. We have sparkling lights strung up above us that light up the table as we eat dinner and talk and laugh about our day, and it really is more mystical than any incantation at Hogwarts.

We may not have a flying machine, but we can definitely fly. All my family agrees; if you get on that swing, and you close your eyes, and you hold your feet up so they can’t touch the ground, there’s no difference between that and soaring through the air when the sun is on your face and the wind is pushing back your hair. 

Our car, as broken down and dirty as it can get, is our super mobile. Many of my favorite memories happened there. Driving back to the house while eating Andy’s Mizzou. Having all our pillows, blankets, and suitcases stacked up because we’re going on a road trip. Summer afternoon beat-the-sunset type drives, where the sky is blue, it’s just the right temperature out, the windows are rolled down, and music is blaring. That’s when I feel invincible, ready to take on the world as a superhero. Our car is better than any BatMobile. 

It may not seem like it from the outside, but my home is everything I need to make me happy. My far-off planet, my magical forest, my flight machine, and my super mobile. So, when the blinds fly up in the morning, it reveals an image many people wish they could see. 

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