Please support us — Become a Citizen.
 

Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Share

Link

Embed

Copy and paste the following code wherever you'd like this story to appear.

Sign in

  • I grew up in 13 square kilometers.

    We took a five-minute car drive in different directions to reach the people who mattered: grandparents, aunts and uncles, our babysitter we called Mommy Lorna. One relative lived in a heritage home built by wealthy lumber barons a century ago. It was haunted by past lives with a maze of secret passages and doors that took us to imaginary, far-off lands. Our own house had a dozen really-hard-to-find hide and seek spots. Bicycles carried us past five houses to a friend's.

    Never a dull day.

    Thirty years later, I'm having a second childhood. My son is a toddler with two air miles cards. His name, Otem, means born away from home and to have come from a distant place. His world is Kenya, the big city, the coast or upcountry, across the border to Tanzania, it's Mali, Seychelles, Amsterdam, Dubai, India and its Taj Mahal; Canada, home to the family we see once a year. My dad picks us up at the airport in the big city and we drive an hour to our small-town. My mom has a meal waiting, my son and I sleep in my old bedroom for few short weeks, a short reprieve that we're always desperately sad to leave. Why don't you just stay, my parents beg, come home, they plead. Wouldn't it be nice, I think. We keep moving. We brave traffic jams, wait on layovers, get delayed by weather. Our adventure.

    Never a dull day.

    I reflect on these two childhoods. I worry. I've deprived my son his only chance to enjoy the simplicity of life. I'm proud: I've opened his eyes to the diversity of tastes, cultures, religions and histories. And I wonder. How will he picture his childhood in 30 years?

    Never a dull day.
About

Collecting stories is a way to gather your favorite Cowbird stories into shareable collections — kind of like assembling personal anthologies.

You can see some of our favorite collections here.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    px wide
    px tall
    Embed code (copy and paste into your web page)
    Would you like to send another?

      Sprouting a story is a way to respond to one story with a story of your own — kind of like sitting around a campfire and following the flow of conversation.

      To sprout stories, please become a Citizen.

          Better browser, please.

          To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.