When I was young, I really enjoyed the element of the hidden adventure in every thing. As I grew older I figured that it must have been the only child, from a neglected home, in me. I sailed right on past the imaginary friend phase and found so many things to dream about and explore. While my second home seemed to be the large shed which sat behind my grandmother’s house- that building which magically morphed from flower shop, to dream house, from raging night club to five-star restaurant- the majority of the adventures found within that shed seemed to happen only in my imagination. My absolute favorite place, when I was a small girl, was forbidden. There was an abandoned lot about a block away from my house, covered from corner to corner with junk. There was an old plaid couch, a rusted out vintage stove, dressers, broken glass, wheel spokes, barbed-wire-wrapped posts, and so many things that i just can’t remember it all, these decades later. Whenever we’d pass by, in our car, I would stare longingly out my window. The potential adventure disguised as garbage called to me. Whenever I knew that I could ride my bike to that abandoned lot and play, without anyone noticing I was gone, that was what I would live for. Often unable to think of anything else, my every day-dream took place within the magical mess of that piece of land.
After months of making my way through the seemingly endless junk, I concluded that should things at home continue to not go well, I could always move onto the lot. No one else seemed to want it, and I felt inspired and alive there. I had found an old hard shell overnight bag, on my lot, and took it home. After cleaning it up, I began packing it with the things I both seemed to treasure, and felt would be practical choices, for the big move. As my timeline grew closer, I became more and more upbeat and excited. I had shifted bits of furniture around to make the area more liveable and made sure the old stove was cook ready (you know, top clear, oven emptied out of spider webs, etc,) even though I hadn’t ever really cooked anything on a stove before*. I had poured hours and hours of time into creating the perfect home where I could just do my thing, and I would not be my mom’s problem anymore… (*no, no the stove was not hooked up to any form of electricity, nor was there any way to do so, on this empty lot. I apparently was too young to realize this little hiccup to my plan.)
One Saturday my mother stumbled upon the hard-shell case which held all of my valuable possessions and she was pretty surprised to learn about my plan. She slowly unpacked each of my little plastic circus and farm animals, and my well-over twenty pairs of socks. I was not ashamed of my plan, so it didn’t require much effort on her part to get me to confess. For all of five minutes, after listening to me talk up this magical world which sat just over a block away, she even went over to the lot with me to look at my new home. This is the very first time that I ever remember my mother being absolutely honest with me. She wasn’t mean or manipulative- she simply told me the truth…
The truth was that, while she could see how fun it might all seem, our southern New Mexico location meant that it wasn’t safe to even set foot near all of that junk, for a lot of reasons. We walked home, me deflated and her on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Once we were safely inside she phoned our friend across the street to go over and inspect it a little bit better. Imagine my absolute horror when a small rattlesnake den was discovered underneath that (must have been so disgusting) couch, the one that I had sprawled out on, to test its sleepability for my new life. That very same couch I had jumped up and down on, in complete rebellion, because this was my place and I could do what I wanted. (What must the neighbors have thought, seeing me out there, like a fool? What must the snakes have thought? And how had that sun-bleached couch held the force of my jumping, without ripping, sending me straight down to the home of my skin-shedding neighbors below? So many questions…)
As a mom, I encouraged imaginative play and adventure. Even now, as an adult woman, I still value adventure. I did encourage caution with play and exploration, educating on common sense things to look out for. Empowerment and Education are everything…
And I am still super leery of what I now realize could be obvious snake abodes.
(As a mother, I also look back on that time with absolute horror. How I did not die there, in that desert, I am unsure.)
I am really excited to partner with Grace Hill Media to talk about the film Beyond the Sun! You can see the trailer here. Go ahead, I’ll wait…
Beyond The Sun is a heartwarming family film that is releasing this week. Distributed by AMBI Distribution, BEYOND THE SUN, is a modern-day tale of hope, faith and courage based on stories from the Bible. This delightful family movie chronicles the adventures of four young friends in search of God.
The film features a very rare special appearance by Pope Francis. In support of the film, AMBI Media Group is holding a special contest where one lucky winner will win an Exclusive Private Tour of the Vatican and Front Row Tickets to an Audience with The Pope For Four!
For anyone who has ever wanted to visit Italy and The Vatican, this is your chance! For additional details about the contest and to enter, please go to:
BEYOND THE SUN will be available for purchase across multiple platforms including iTunes, Amazon, and TUGG on May 15th.
In addition to the contest, I am giving away a $50 gift card to Target, for one lucky reader! To enter, simply leave a comment telling of a childhood adventure you once had. Deadline for entry is 11:59p.m. 5/16/18