Jimmy's Playground (lead into series for book)
|I wish I could go back to the days when I was a child growing up in the mill town of Lowell. Dad always said that I was a dreamer and I guess that I still am. Back then though, I would imagine things to be that were not, or at least could not be proven real to anyone. Dad was thirty two years old. I knew that because before we went to church one day in April I asked and he told me. It was the best Easter day of my life. The next few years would prove to be indeed the best, and as well, the most disappointing for me. Everything that mattered to me would be lost. Including myself. But first, about that Easter Sunday, so special and remaining special all my life. You see, above all, Ma and dad were fair to me and my four sisters and three brothers. We all were given the same opportunities and no one of us was more special than the other. That Easter day though I felt special and the feeling continued until I waved good-bye to Richie from the back of a U-Haul trailer – two years later and forever.
But that Easter day was special as I stood in our front yard behind the short hedge bordering the sidewalk, eyes wide open amazed at the eighteen-wheeler that was sitting there all shiny. The huge Tonka was no dream. Rich was standing on the sidewalk stunned by the looks of the huge red and black tin truck. His eyes grew big as he said wow. I just kneeled there behind the low hedge and stared at him. Richie and I were best friends.
It was the year of second grade for both of us and the rest of that Easter day the red and black truck was on my mind constantly, even as Ma put me to sleep that night. As always I asked for some water but she just smiled, put out the light and closed the door. I never complained because Ma was right, I know because she loved me, I could feel it in her smile. Ma smiled a lot.