A tribute to the best childhood ever. With the best people ever. And the most fun… ever.
Each house on the cul-de-sac that resided at the end of Sycamore Drive had kids, about 18 in all. We were all friends and our parents were all friends, and it was perfect.
My parents had a “garage couch” that they would pull out into the middle of the cul-de-sac and drink margaritas on while all the kids ran around playing Kick the Can.
Even Corkie had a best friend on the street. She would sit and gaze out the glass front door, tail eagerly wagging, as she desperately waited to meet dog-pal Josie in the middle of the cul-de-sac.
The boys had a seriously cool fort built in the trees in the midst of the greenbelt behind our house. The girls could never remember the exact location of it, as we were not allowed in, but spent many afternoons seeking it out. We knew for sure that we would find some hideous secrets that 8-year-old boys kept or stumble upon something scandalous if we did, indeed, locate the fort.
Who could forget “Dance in the Garage”? All of the long afternoon practices full of short attention spans and lame leaps and atrocious turns would eventually bring the whole street out for the annual recitals in the summers. We definitely thought we were gifted and talented little crackerjacks… & boy, were we ever wrong.
We all had glass doors covering the actual front door. There is nothing significant about that… I just liked it. You don’t really see that trend anymore.
Halloween was the highlight of my year.
I still remember my first Halloween there, dressed as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. The cul-de-sac kids and our parents trick-or-treated throughout the developing neighborhood and sang “The Adams Family” theme song the whole way through.
We also hosted the biggest event of the year, every year. Bigger than the Golden Globes, the Olympics, and the Super Bowl combined (!!!), because, quite frankly, we had never heard of any of those events. It was THE ANNUAL CONNOLLY HALLOWEEN PARTY. All the cul-de-sac kids and their parents would come, families from soccer, baseball, and dance would come. We would all run around in our nifty little costumes and go through the impressive haunted house my dad would create in the garage. We would bob for apples, wrap each other in toilet paper, try to eat donuts off of a string, and tease all the adults as they got drunk.
My brothers and I each had our own tree in the backyard that we picked out at Arbor Days. Eventually the little twigs grew to be taller than the house itself. I hated leaving those trees behind when we had to move.
I had a huge obstacle course for Corkie in the back yard that my grandpa and dad built for her. I was bound and determined that she was going to be a show dog on Animal Planet. I think I used the obstacle course a whopping two times before I (and mostly Corkie) was over it.
Christmas on the cul-de-sac was a magical time of year. Every single house had over-the-top, yet tasteful decorations. Our street would place every year in the City of Keller Christmas decoration contest.
On good-weather days, we would explode out of school to find our dads waiting for us with our excited pups. We loved to walk home from the elementary school more than we loved Polly Pocket and Tamagotchi combined.
Now, everyone has moved away and grown up. Now, our old house has been painted a new (distasteful) color by the current occupants. Now, Hawaii, our tall and once-impressive palm tree has turned countless shades of brown. And now, it is much, much quieter and calmer in that neck of the woods. But, regardless, I still love to drive by 1450 Sycamore Drive. I love the nostalgic feeling I get. I love the random explosion of long-forgotten memories that flood my mind, like how the city repaved the street one day, and unsystematically laid thin lines of tar. And on hot days, the tar would bubble up, and our favorite past time became bursting the little tar-bubbles. Or like, how we used to grow our own pumpkins behind our house and then pick them and carve sinister faces into them in the fall. Or like, how the moist grass felt as it caught my cartwheels in the front yard on the first days of summer break.
So, thank you, Sycamore Drive for providing me with the best childhood I could have ever asked for. Thank you for hosting the countless lemonade stands that made us all an exhilarating 10 cents richer. Thank you for showing me the meaning and importance of friendship. Thank you for being the highlight of my childhood.