Find Your Joy in My Childhood

Gabrielle Brown, '22

If you ever find yourself in Matteson during the summer

Make your way to Allemong Park

You’ll see kids playing on the swings and slides

Climbing the jungle gym and playing tag

You’ll see football players and cheerleaders at practice 

Perfecting their crafts

Forming future professional athletes

You’ll see eyes full of wonder and supportive parents

You’ll hear laughter and joy 

And think to yourself about the wonders of being a young kid 

The carelessness

No need to be perfect 

Just a need to be yourself the best way you can be

Once you finished remicinsing here

Make your way to Garden View Lane

And find the house with two thin evergreen trees framing the driveway 

If it were 2010, you’d see me running around with my cousins

Playing tag and having water balloon fights in the huge backyard

You’d smell my grandfather’s barbecue cooking on the back patio 

You’d hear the joyful chatter of my aunts and uncles laughing about who knows what

You’d see all the kids dry off with their colorful towels 

And begin to cool down with their favorite color freeze pop

You’d see us laugh with no worries and talk about the summer activities we’ve done so far

You’d see the excitement on our faces seeing the sunset knowing food was almost done 

And that meant the fireworks show was nearing

You’d hear us talk about who would ride with which aunt 

And who sat next to which cousin

You’d hear normal childhood chatter because that’s just what kids in 2010 did

So if you’re ever in need of a bit of cheering up in July

Head to Matteson and take a stroll in Allemong Park

Followed by a cookout on Garden View Lane