What I Did on My Summer Break, Millenium Edition

The year is 2000, and I am on summer break from my first year of college. It is six months since we all survived the y2k bug, six months since the dramatic falling out between my me and high school best friend over a boy from Canada who we met in an Internet chat room. The Boy (as all my college friends call him derisively) and I have been dating for those six months, and for most of that time I have been practicing Wicca, otherwise known as modern witchcraft. Today I am in a van headed to Williamsburg, VA with my parents and brother for a week long family vacation.

My father’s cell phone rings. My grandmother just called to tell us that our house has burned down.
“It’s gone…” she tells my father, and he hurriedly tells my mother to pull over. “Easy for you to say,” she mutters, glancing at the three lanes of traffic between her and the shoulder.

The Already-but-not-yet Kingdom

When I was in fifth grade, my class read a novel called Bridge to Terabithia. It has since been made into a movie so that today’s children can also be traumatized by its tragic ending, just one more in a long list of painful life lessons branded into our collective subconscious. For my generation, there was also the episode of Punky Brewster where we learned that you should never play in abandoned refrigerators, and the scene in The Neverending Story where we learned that you can literally drown in sorrow – especially if you’re a horse named Artax. Then there was the My Little Pony movie where the Smooze taught us… something? I’m not sure what but I know that it terrifies me to think about to this day. And the list continues.

Traumatic 80’s children’s programming isn’t actually my point at all, although it might make for an interesting discussion in the future. What I wanted to talk about is what I took away from Bridge to Terabithia once I stopped being distraught.