It is Christmas morning in Eastland, Texas. The year is 1996. My maternal grandfather and grandmother are still alive. My siblings and cousins and I are sitting in a living room that faces the southern edge of Lake Leon. We are surrounded by innumerable packages, all of them wrapped in shining gossamer paper, piled high near a fireplace that is rarely used.
I did not sleep the night before, anticipation gives me a heightened sense of the slowness of time. I am overcome with the realization that I have never felt this way before.
I am thirteen-years-old and I believe in magic.
I hold on to that feeling.
I never let it leave.