Tulip Tree

When we around eight years old, my friend Lauren and I were spies. We had great imaginations and bad-guy fighting skills. My home and yard were our stages for this play, and we had a blast.

A major part of this game involved the double trunked tulip tree in my front yard. We would climb through the “crotch” of the tree, and on the other side, became invisible. I believe there was an invisible room on the other side from where we could look out for the bad guys.

Being not exposed to scary stuff day-to-day, I don’t actually know what these bad guys were up to in our minds, but I can guess it was inspired by watching the ’80s flick Cloak and Dagger 47 times during sleepovers at Lauren’s place.

As adults, we introduced her son to the movie when he was around eight, I believe. As we watched, we stole appalled glances at each other by the violence and age-inappropriateness. Especially when an adult with a gun threatened Davie by telling him he was gonna blow off both his knee caps. This was some truly scary stuff!

Really, we watched this? (In looking for a photo to share from the movie, I came across a write-up by someone who loved it as a kid, watched it as an adult, and was mortified by the whole scenario. Lauren and I did not pick up on any of this as kids.

We asked Lauren’s son when it was over what he thought of it and the eight-year-old answered “I’m not sure it was appropriate for me. Maybe it’s better for someone who’s nine?”

And how, kid.

Anyway, Cloak and Dagger was the inspiration for part of my and Lauren’s imaginary shenanigans, and it involved the tulip tree.

The point of this whole blabberfest is that I went to my parents’ house for dinner last night and when I was taking Harlow out for a walk, I marvelled at how much the tree had grown. The crotch itself was appreciably higher than it was when we were kids. (Trees grow a lot over thirty years I guess).

If we were kids today I’m not sure we could still climb and jump through that thing, at least not without breaking a limb dropping through on the other side! But then again, if we were kids today, maybe we wouldn’t be doing so much imaginary play thanks to modern technology?

I’m glad I was a kid then, even if we were inspired by a dreadful movie that we didn’t actually understand.

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