February 11, 1974

This is the first in a series of journal entries. For more about this project, see this introduction.

Today is one of those wonderful days with sunshine, melting snow and temperatures in the 60s and a wonderful feeling that the whole world is waking up. Jon and I walked for blocks and he, as usual, went to sleep – all loose and floppy, his arms and head dangling out of the sling and flopping as we walked. But something is missing, and I just realized what it is.

If I were 6 on a day like this, I’d have been out in the street making puddles and lakes by damming up the streams in the road with sticks and rocks. Or making mudpies with a friend to bake on the sidewalk. Trying not to get muddy at first, then forgetting and coming in gloriously dirty. But here it couldn’t happen. Here the pavement meets the concrete of the sidewalk with no dirt between. There is plenty of water from the melting snow, but it runs cleanly down the gutter and away. A child would have to hunt to find a decent stick and there are no good rocks for damming. It is sad somehow. I’m glad we won’t get stuck in a muddy driveway as my parents did occasionally, but I’m sorry too that a little mud couldn’t have survived. My son may never know the joy of walking barefoot in the puddles and the oozing squishy dirt.