This past Sunday we took our kids to visit Vizcaya , a well-known Miami landmark which sits on Biscayne Bay. Vizcaya is a sprawling mansion built in 1916 by mogul James Deering. The estate is now a museum and is the site for many public and private events. It is also the crime scene where I nearly put an electric collar on Ryder to stop him from running and shouting down the corridors of this museum. One minute he was trying to open clearly locked doors, and the next he was chasing lizards down polished marble stairs.
It is easy to daydream at Vizcaya. The grounds have lemon scented gardens, pools, fountains and sitting areas beside hedged mazes. I watched the twins flutter throughout the maze, trying to unlock its secrets, as they laughed with glee. Ryder, in turn, charged through the hedges like a bull in a china closet, and I recognized that in his own clumsy way, he was being careful.
My childhood memories are scattered and delicate like fine parchment paper, and as such, I don’t recall much before the age of 9. I remember scrapping for gold on a bedrock beside my paternal grandfather, I remember riding in the back of a pick up truck down a dusty lane, and I remember my heavy tennis racket, so preposterously large beside my small hands and wrists. These are the memories that have endured.
I hope our children remember these small excursions — the good times, lizards and all, and nothing but.