When I was seven, my best friend Joe Baskin and I got lost in the woods behind my house. I don't know how long we were lost for, but it was long enough for fear to burn the memory of that afternoon into my mind forever. I can recall wiping tears away so Joe wouldn't see and saying Our Fathers in my mind in the hope that God would cut us a break. I also remember eventually spotting my backyard through the trees, and the elated rush of joy at realizing we were lost no more, like coming up for air from the bottom of a cold lake. I think Joe and I even hugged each other. I never told my parents about getting lost - at least I don't think I did - and it didn't stop me from going in the woods. I loved those woods and I have no doubt that the time I spent there - the adventures big and small - influenced my life on every level. Now, Linda and I need to find a house because the one we're in has no bedroom for the baby. I'm not too picky - old or new, big yard or tiny. I have only one requirement that I won't budge on - there has to be a good-sized woods behind the house. It may sound strange, mean - whatever, but I want my child to have the opportunity to get lost in the woods, too. Maybe not like Joe and I did, but like I did on so many other days, when I walked out my backdoor and the only thing I had to accomplish was to build a fort or find a crayfish.
101 days until baby.