On the drive out there the head coach and I slowly breathed the country air and shared how we felt the stress of the suburbs falling away as the caravan of cars wound its way through the green fields where houses sat far apart from one another. We commented on how nice it was for people to have land, something nobody really has where we live.
As we arrived at the clinic and unloaded all of our jumpers I overheard some of the kids talking. With the disdain of a 4th grader trying out snobbery to see how it fit, one said, "There were seriously small houses so far apart with all that land. Like people have all that land but can't buy a big house. Crazy."
I couldn't keep myself from jumping in and telling them that was actually how I grew up, and what I thought was crazy was all those houses right next door to each other where our school is. The other grown ups laughed at this, and jumped in to try to explain to the girls that some people value having space more than a house, but I could tell the girls weren't buying it. They were seeing me in a new light, just as I was seeing them.
I must admit, even though I've lived in this area for almost 8 years now I still can't get use to the lack of green space, and the houses so close together that free-standing houses could actually run the homemade can-telephones across each yard. I'd never thought of anyone feeling the opposite about it- thinking people were crazy to have small houses far apart when they had the land to have a bigger house. But I suppose, if this is where you've grown up, that would be your perspective.
One girl though, looked at me with big eyes. "Did you get to play on all your land?" she almost whispered.
I whispered back, "Oh yes, all the time. We built forts, played soccer & baseball, and climbed trees"
she nodded, wistfully.
I just didn't mention that since our house was so far away from anyone else we didn't actually play these games with any friends...