I grew up in San Diego, where I’d run around with my two brothers and my sister, trying to stay out of trouble. We did like adventures, though, and there was a tree right outside my bedroom window that you could climb down to reach the ground. I’m not saying we climbed out at night, but sometimes a kid needs to be a kid.
There was an abandoned house in our neighborhood—so we figured it must be haunted. How is a kid supposed to know that the owners are just away for the summer? I don’t think the police should assume it was robbers who broke in.
I do have some advice for kids growing up in an older house, like the one we lived in. 1. Do not try to slide down the laundry chute. 2. Do not put your little brother in the potato bin. The weight of him being inside makes it really hard to open again. 3. When you are using the attic for a clubhouse, be sure to walk only on the rafters. If you step on the part in between the rafters, you fall through the ceiling, maybe into your parents’ bedroom closet. 4. Do not use the glassed-in sun porch when you stack appliance boxes to make your own high-rise apartment building. If you and your older brother get in a fight inside the bottom boxes, that top box with your sister in it could go flying through the plate glass window into a hedge. Your sister might be okay, but you may not be so good when your parents come home.
A couple more thoughts: If you read under the covers with a flashlight at night, do not get caught. If you take apart the backyard fence to build a treehouse, do not expect your parents to be happy about it. As a parent, I did figure out a few of things: When my two boys were young, I made sure we had plenty of good books and working flashlights in the house, and finally, I pulled down our backyard fence and built a fort. Some things don’t change.
Three Things You Might Not Know About Me:
1. Even if you offered me a hundred dollars, I would not eat a marshmallow.
2. I’m afraid of moray eels. If I see one at an aquarium, even if it is behind glass, I go weak in the knees and think I might faint.
3. One of my favorite things about writing is reading. Writers have to be good readers, so it’s a perfect excuse. Not only do I get to read a lot, I also get to meet some of my favorite authors and have them sign my copies of their books. It doesn’t get much better than that.