My girls are growing up fast. They are each beautiful in their own way, unique to their own age and framed in time - the only ones who will experience *this* thing *this* year at *this* age. I think of my own childhood in the days of my independence, tongue orange from slurping on a Big Stick that I bought with my sister at the dusty corner store in the huge freezer right next to the push ups. I remember biking there, hot and sweaty, pushing over .55 cents on the countertop next to the cigarettes and beef jerky and I remember how good the thing tasted, the tangy sweet popsicle and the dark cool of the grocery after the hot sun. 

Those days are saturated in a filter of overexposure, shimmering gold hillsides in the summer heat. Refugio Road was long and unpopulated then. There were no vineyards and just a few ranches on its length. The mountains and hills seemed  undiscovered, and my imagination was boundless. 

I wrote a story about a girl, Melinda Appleby, who met the notorious bandit "Joaquin Murietta" and they became friends. I wrote another story about a girl who lived in Lake Tahoe at the turn of the century (this involved a massive and complicated family tree for some reason). I wrote another story about a girl who grew up best friends with Mozart and watched him slowly decline. I wrote poetry, I wrote piano music, I practiced violin, I lay in the grass and looked at the trees in the blue blue sky and I dreamed of someday being a grown up.

There was a lot of good silence in my life. A lot of music too, but a lot of quiet-in-the-grassy-field-with-the-dog silence that seems very good to me now. I know my mom had to fight for it - I mean she had to fight for the T.V to be off, for the kids to be outside in nature, for me to have alone time in my brain instead of constant play dates with other kids. I hated it then. Now I think it's awesome. 

I look at my girls and wonder what they will look back on - what filter will their childhood impress in their minds until they distill tiny fragments of now into the great expanse of their future experience, what will be an intangible but beautiful impression of these days.

I hope it's as cool as mine.