As a child, my backyard was more than just flowers and soil. My backyard was a never-ending landscape full of tall pines, candy colored fruit trees, abandoned fortresses, and fragrant petals. The hills existed only for me. Cardboard sleds were my only means of transportation. When those were scarce, then using myself as a human roly-poly just had to do. The earth beneath me left its art on the large white t-shirt that hung loosely over my tiny frame.

It wasn’t that I owned clothes that did not fit. This particular shirt belonged to my Grandfather.

His drawers were constantly lined with the neat squares of cotton. There was not one day that went by where he didn’t wear one. They were essential, an under armor. He had a physical job, a job that would leave its mark day after day.

Our two acres seemed to go on forever. The landscape was full of random patches of a variety of different flowers, all hand-picked and planted by my Grandmother. It was a getaway for not only myself but for my best friend. A getaway to a world only children can enter. Pine cones were ammunition against the “Boys Next Door”. They were our mortal enemies, and not even the thick brush and thorny bushes were enough protection from our eyes.

Getting dirty didn’t exist, especially when I wore his white t-shirt. This was now my armor, and my protection against the mud demons. It held up against water balloon fights, blackberry smears, and God only knows what else.

To anyone else, it may have just appeared to be a simple plain white t-shirt, but to me, it was my super-suit, my ability to do anything and be anyone I wanted to be.

 

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