Wednesday, June 30, 2010

View from the Windowseat

There were four of us kids, and on long boring car rides, we naturally quarreled about who got to sit by the window. When games of Ghost and I Spy ended, at least the kid by the window had something to look at. Not to admire the view, as our parents urged, but just to get a sense of the world rushing past, with all its space and possibility.

I had a tiny, imaginary friend named Jack, angular and swift as black lightning, who liked to race alongside the car. Leaping from one telephone pole to the next or skating along the guard rail, he never paused as long as I watched. When I needed to look away, I persuaded him to come ride clinging to the car, but I knew he’d rather be leaping.

Now that I’m an adult, the windowseat has a whole different meaning. It refers to a shelf in an alcove by a second-story window, where I can sit and read and gaze out the window. In the triangle between house, barn, and woods I can watch a turkey strut by or a gang of children at play.

This blog means to comment from both points of view: the viewpoint of a child full of imagination and expectation, and the viewpoint of a parent, reader, and writer, watching and thinking about how young people grow and learn.

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